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April 08, 2015

SERMO, Top US Social Network for Doctors, Announces Global Expansion: Starts with the UK and Creates the First Ever Channel for UK and US Doctors to Work Together

Doctors Around the World Want to Join the Leading US Social Network for Doctors

NEW YORK — In 2005, SERMO pioneered social networking for doctors with a vision to provide a safe haven for doctors to collaborate online. A decade later SERMO, as the leading US social network for doctors, today announces its international expansion. SERMO is now the first global medical social network exclusively for physicians with 343,000 members.

 

SERMO is a virtual doctors’ lounge, teaching hospital and international medical conference all rolled into one. Doctors come together in this unique online meeting place that facilitates authentic discussions, virtual learning and medical crowdsourcing. Medical crowdsourcing is a disruptive new healthcare phenomenon that enables doctors to pool their collective wisdom online to solve patient cases.

 

SERMO is expanding globally by adding the UK as its first new country, uniting 38,000 UK physicians to the existing US social network of 305,000 US doctors. SERMO aims to unite physicians in multiple countries by the end of 2015.

  Doctors polled around the world substantiate the importance of a global medical social network:
  • 80 percent of US doctors value an international medical social network
  • 85 percent of doctors from France, Germany, Japan, UK, Brazil, Russia, Canada, China, and India intend to join the leading US social network for doctors
  • 83 percent of UK physicians believe that collaborating via a global social network will help them solve challenging patient cases

Cross-border collaboration by doctors will ultimately improve patient care

 

In today’s fast-paced world, doctors increasingly work and make treatment decisions alone. Despite the facts and experience available to them in the moment, there is little time to collaborate with peers. As such, many patient cases are unclear and fall into a “grey zone,” where doctors believe they would benefit from the advice of a colleague.

 

Medicine isn’t clear cut and doctors rely on one another

  A recent SERMO poll with 3,420 doctors from the US and Europe explored this medical “grey zone.” The majority of physicians polled reported that at least 20 percent (1 in 5) of their patient cases were in the grey zone:
  • 99 percent of doctors polled from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain reported that at least 20 percent of their cases lack clarity
  • 75 percent of US doctors polled state that at least 20 percent of patient cases fell in the grey zone
 

Until now, doctors haven’t had a virtual channel to collaborate across borders. Since experience, standards of care and treatment approaches differ around the world, the ability to exchange medical wisdom with speed and security in a doctors only social network is highly valuable.

 

Dr. Roger Henderson, a physician known in the UK for his support of social network usage to expedite medical solutions echoes this, “Surprisingly, most medical knowledge and experience are not shared. Only a few advances are published and it takes years to conduct clinical trials. But medical innovation is experienced by doctors around the world, each and every day. SERMO is a channel that lets doctors access hundreds of cumulative years of experience instantaneously, ensuring that we do not have to make difficult patient decisions alone.”

 

Dr. Richard Armstrong, a general surgeon from Michigan, who has been a SERMO user for close to a decade and posted over 1,000 patient cases, says SERMO has been, “life changing” for him. “What particularly stands out in my mind is this one patient with metastatic thyroid cancer. I needed the input of multiple specialists who were scattered around the country hundreds of miles away. Within 24 hours of posting the cancer case I had input from over 40 doctors. That’s just impossible to duplicate in a normal clinical setting. The guidance I received from my peers helped get this patient treated on a university research protocol with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Today, the patient has survived over seven years, against difficult odds. These circumstances are not rare. SERMO helps physicians daily with challenging real world patient cases and saves lives. The impact of this technology is just beginning. I believe powerful medical innovation will arise from the collective intellect of millions of doctors communicating seamlessly across the globe as SERMO eliminates traditional barriers.”

“The unprecedented ability to connect with my peers around the world and pool our collective medical knowledge allows us to access information, unbounded by restrictions of time and geography,” said Dr. James Wilson, an American SERMO member and infectious disease forecaster based in Colorado. “Ebola and the recent measles epidemic have shown us that disease outbreaks have no borders.”

 

“Medical crowdsourcing is transforming healthcare and the appetite for virtual collaboration among doctors is growing,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of SERMO. “In just the past month, doctors spent 37,000 hours on SERMO. Over the last year, 3,500 challenging patient cases were posted by doctors. These cases were viewed 700,000 times and received 50,000 comments. Most patient cases get responses within 1.5 hours and are resolved within 24 hours. These are just US numbers. When we grow the network globally, this type of collaboration will only increase exponentially.”

Anonymity in a physician-only environment is the hallmark of SERMO and what makes it unique compared to other identified physician networks.  Anonymity is essential for doctors to feel safe to voice their opinions and to seek clinical input from their peers without fear of repercussions.

 

SERMO Poll References

  • “80 percent of US doctors find value in joining an international medical social network to share insights with their peers” 107 US physicians, August 2014
  • “85 percent of international doctors are interested in joining the leading US social network for doctors” 270 physicians from France, Germany, Japan, UK, Brazil, Russia, Canada, China, and India, July 2014
  • “83 percent of UK physicians say that collaborating via a global social network will help them solve challenging patient cases more effectively” 251 UK physicians from 16 specialties, February 2015
  • “87 percent of doctors from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain reported that 20 percent of their cases lack clarity” 251 physicians from the UK, and 205 physicians from France, Germany, Italy and Spain, February 2015
  • “75 percent of US doctors say at least 20 percent of patients cases are in the grey zone” 2,945 doctors, March 2015

About SERMO

SERMO is the United States' top ranked social network for fully verified, licensed physicians. SERMO is the place for doctors to talk about real world medicine. Founded in 2005, SERMO's mission is to unite physicians and provide them with a safe, private and trusted platform for free and open discussions. SERMO is a virtual doctors’ ‘lounge’ where doctors candidly share their true feelings about their profession and lives. It’s also a place where doctors learn from one another by asking each other questions, advice and second opinions about medicine. Over the course of a decade, doctors have built an important medical knowledge bank within SERMO by virtue of those questions and answers. With over 305,000 verified US physicians from 93 specialties, representing 40 percent of the American physician community and 38,000 UK physicians representing 16% of the UK physician community, SERMO harnesses the collective wisdom of doctors, enabling medical crowdsourcing, knowledge sharing and thus the advancement of medicine.

What are SERMO surveys and sentiment polls?

SERMO is the world’s largest healthcare professional polling and survey company with 1.6 million healthcare professional members in both a social network and a digital research network, spanning 80 countries. SERMO conducts 700,000 surveys a year.

In addition to formal surveys, SERMO also conducts regular sentiment polls on the social network. We take the pulse of physicians on topics that range from hot medical issues of the day to healthcare politics and doctors’ daily challenges. Polls can receive up to 3,000 votes and members are not incentivized to participate in SERMO polls. Our polls are one of the most popular areas of our site and are intended to reflect the unfiltered voice and sentiment of physicians.

In the US network, SERMO physicians index very closely to the demographics of American physicians, meaning SERMO polls often reflect a strong cross-section of US medical opinion. As SERMO expands to the UK and soon globally, polls can be targeted at specific countries to assess opinion on issues of national importance and relevance. Opinion polls within the social network are open and offered free of charge to members of the media.

Learn more at SERMO.com

Media Contacts:
Osnat Benshoshan, SVP, Marketing & Strategy, SERMO
osnat.benshoshan@sermo.com; +1.805.479.8343

Victoria Khamsombath, SHIFT Communications
SERMO@shiftcomm.com; +1.617.779.1859