Instant Access to International Doctors’ Network in Seven Countries Offers an Important Resource in the Wake of National Healthcare Staffing Shortages
Today Sermo, the leading social network for doctors with more than 382,000 members announced additional international expansion, opening its doors to the approximately 42,000 doctors in South Africa. Sermo, available in seven countries including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand, is well on its way to becoming the largest global medical social network exclusively for physicians.
Sermo, the original doctor-only social network in the US, is a unique resource for doctors as it provides:
- A virtual doctors’ lounge, teaching hospital and international medical conference all in one.
- Options for doctors to maintain their identity or to be anonymous. Most doctors choose anonymity, enabling them to safely voice their opinions and to seek and share clinical input with their peers without fear of repercussions.
- A world-class identity verification system that validates the licensing and credentials of all doctors.
- The only doctor-exclusive global online meeting place that facilitates authentic discussions, virtual learning and medical crowdsourcing among doctors across the globe.
Doctors around the world are ready for an international social network
The appetite for international collaboration is ripe as demonstrated by a Sermo poll showing 85 percent of international doctors want to join the leading US social network. In South Africa, doctors have already harnessed the power of social media to address healthcare issues via #HCSMSA, Health Care Social Media South Africa, a project which aims to advance healthcare in South Africa by providing a platform to curate information, collaborate and discuss healthcare issues online.
When doctors need to make tough choices, they rely on the wisdom of their peers
Medical crowdsourcing is a disruptive new healthcare phenomenon which enables doctors to pool their collective wisdom online to solve patient cases. On Sermo, it has already helped improve and save patients’ lives. Most doctors believe medical crowdsourcing, i.e. tapping into the collective wisdom of doctors via an online channel, has the potential to transform the way medicine is practiced.
Doctors readily admit that medicine is an art form and that many of their clinical decisions fall into a “grey zone,” an unclear space where physicians have several clinical possibilities and must make a judgement call to solve the case. A recent Sermo poll with 3,420 doctors found that the majority of physicians reported that at least 20 percent (1 in 5) of their patient cases were in the grey zone.
Until now, doctors haven’t had a virtual channel to collaborate across borders. With differing medical practices across the globe, the ability to exchange medical wisdom with speed and security in a doctor-only social network is highly valuable for doctors and potentially life-changing for patients.
“In the US, Sermo has already facilitated connections between physicians that were not accessible either due to geographical or time restrictions,” said Peter Kirk, CEO for Sermo. “Now, Sermo can help fill the current doctor shortage gap in South Africa by offering access to a global network of licensed and triple-verified doctors.”
Global collaboration by doctors means improved patient care around the world
Thousands of doctors in the US have already experienced and benefited from the power of medical crowdsourcing. For example in 2014, 3,500 challenging patient cases were posted by doctors in the US. 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. In May 2015, a general practitioner posted a photo of a mysterious branch-like mass on Sermo and reported that a 14-year-old boy had coughed it up just the day before. After tapping Sermo’s network, the community correctly identified it as an extremely rare and deadly case of plastic bronchitis, a diagnosis that ultimately saved the boy’s life. Nearly 4,000 doctors learned from the post.
Even diseases themselves are becoming global. Dr. James Wilson, an American Sermo member and Ascel Bio infectious disease forecaster based out of the University of Nevada-Reno, said, “Ebola and the recent measles epidemic have shown us that disease outbreaks have no borders. Communication has always been vital to the practice of good medicine, but with the increased levels of global travel and human interaction, communication between doctors in the face of the next global health crisis will not only be of utmost importance, it could be the key to saving lives on a truly massive scale.”
Sermo is the virtual doctors’ lounge and the home of medical crowdsourcing, where doctors candidly share their true feelings about their profession and lives, and talk ‘real world’ medicine. Sermo is the United States’ top-ranked social network for fully verified, licensed physicians with nearly 400,000 doctors and is now available for doctors in seven countries: the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand. 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 harnesses the collective wisdom of doctors, enabling medical crowdsourcing, knowledge sharing and thus the advancement of medicine.
Learn more at Sermo.com
Osnat Benshoshan, SVP, Marketing & Strategy, Sermo
Victoria Khamsombath, SHIFT Communications