Medical Community Unites Behind New Model for Sharing and Advancing Medical Knowledge
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 17, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — The Medpedia Project today announced the public launch of the beta version of a technology platform for the worldwide health community. Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other leading global health organizations, are contributing in various ways to Medpedia. The goal of The Medpedia Project is to create a new model of how the world will assemble, maintain, critique and access medical knowledge. It will, over time, be a repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world, and freely available to everyone.
This release of the Medpedia Platform includes three interrelated services: a collaborative knowledge base, a Professional Network and Directory for health professionals and organizations, and Communities of Interest in which medical professionals and non-professionals can share information about conditions, treatments, lifestyle choices, etc. This free resource is available today at www.medpedia.com.
The Medpedia collaborative knowledge base provides medical professionals and organizations a central place to record their knowledge and receive national and international recognition and visibility for their expertise. Since the announcement of The Medpedia Project in July 2008, over 110 organizations have contributed or pledged over 7,000 pages of content to the knowledge base, and thousands of people have become a part of the community.
Said Gary Ashby, Programme Director for NHS Choices in the U.K., "NHS Choices, the digital front door to the National Health Service in England, is delighted to be involved with the Medpedia project. Collecting the best information about medicine and health and sharing it freely worldwide is an important initiative that could eventually improve and even save many thousands of lives. It's something we are proud to be a part of."
The Medpedia Professional Network provides medical and health professionals a free communications and networking system, a place to organize conference attendees and speakers, a professional expertise directory, a recruiting tool for research collaborators, and a clinical referral network.
Today, 25 health organizations are announcing their plans to use the Medpedia Network and Directory to connect with their memberships. The list includes the American Heart Association (AHA), NHS Choices (National Health Service) of the U.K., the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS), the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, and many others.
Said Nancy Brown, CEO of The American Heart Association, "This platform provides new opportunities for our physician audience to network and share knowledge with other medical professionals around the world who are not a part of the American Heart Association. And, Medpedia's medical encyclopedia provides the public with convenient access to credible health information, with varying perspectives and resources included."
While only physicians and Ph.D.s in a biomedical/health field can edit the Medpedia knowledge base directly, and only health and medical professionals are to use the professional network, consumers have an important role to play in the evolving model of Medpedia. They can suggest changes to the Article pages, and they can participate in "Communities of Interest." "Communities of Interest" is the part of the Medpedia Platform that brings consumers and medical professionals together to share knowledge around conditions, treatments, and lifestyle choices.
"Over the last ten years on the Internet, remarkable breakthroughs have taken place in collaborative knowledge sharing and communication that have yet to be provided to the medical community," said James Currier, Medpedia Founder and Chairman. "You can see the power of these breakthroughs in companies such as Wikipedia and WikiHow which provide collaborative knowledge sharing, LinkedIn which provides a professional network and directory, and Facebook which supports communities of interest. We've added to these breakthroughs, adapted them for medicine and health, and are putting them in one free platform for the medical community. The Medpedia Platform will continue to expand as the medical community finds even more uses for it."
About The Medpedia Project
The Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. This model is founded on providing a free online technology platform that is: easy to understand, collaborative, interdisciplinary, transparent, and that elevates the best medical information on the Web. The result of this effort will be to transform how both medical professionals and the general public acquire information about health and connect with each other.
Harvard Medical School, the Stanford School of Medicine, The University of Michigan Medical School, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and health organizations around the world have collaborated with Medpedia. Many organizations have contributed seed content free of copyright restrictions. Other organizations, such as University of Michigan Medical School are encouraging members of their faculty to edit the Medpedia encyclopedia. Other health and medical organizations that are supporting Medpedia.
Medpedia's Board of Advisers includes Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D., Ph.D., Professor University of Michigan Medical School; Linda Hawes Clever, M.D., M.A.C.P., Clinical Professor University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School; Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University; and tech-luminary and philanthropist Mitch Kapor.
A group of distinguished individuals have also provided valuable advice and guidance to Medpedia, including Henry Lowe, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Information Resources and Technology at Stanford University School of Medicine; John E. Swartzberg, M.D., Professor at University of Berkeley School of Public Health and Editor of the UC Berkeley Wellness Newsletter; Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., Professor at Harvard Medical School and Editor in Chief of Harvard Health Publications Division of Harvard Medical School; and Robert Lash, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health.
Medpedia.com Inc. is funded and managed by Ooga Labs (www.oogalabs.com) a technology greenhouse in San Francisco.
The content on or accessible through Medpedia.com is for informational purposes only. Medpedia is not a substitute for professional advice or expert medical services from a qualified health care professional. Organizations associated with Medpedia are not responsible for the content that appears in the editable pages of Medpedia, which can contain content submitted by other health professionals or other persons, including those who may not be affiliated with these organizations.