SERMO, Top US Social Network for Doctors and the Home of Medical Crowdsourcing, Opens its Doors to Ireland’s 12,000 Doctors

Access to International Physicians Offers a Resource to Ireland’s Medical Community for the Nation’s 2015-2017 Top 25 Health Priorities

Today SERMO, the leading social network for doctors with more than 382,000 members announced additional international expansion, opening its doors to Ireland’s estimated 12,000 doctors. SERMO, now available in seven countries including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa 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, physician-exclusive resource for doctors as it provides:

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. 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.

The Ireland market is 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. Additionally, the Irish Medical Organization has published guidelines for social and virtual network participation, but cautions doctors about maintaining personal and patient privacy.

“In Ireland, with centers of excellence scattered across the country, a crowdsourcing network like SERMO can make all the difference. As a recent graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, I was all too familiar the long hours and training schemes before you can fully practice on your own, and having additional resources to tap can make all the difference,” saidRyan McCormick, Co-founding Member of Floating Doctors. “As a doctor working in both research and international aide, I have found SERMO to be of vital importance for both networking and sourcing other expert opinions. I highly recommend joining the nearly 400,000 SERMO members to find professional opinions and opportunities across the globe. With the click of a button, doctors can connect to one another to share knowledge and experience.”

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.

Ireland has not had a medically-focused social network to utilise. The introduction of SERMO gives them a confidential platform to connect with each other and international colleagues to address and succeed with the 2015-2017 top 25 health priorities administered by the Ministers for Health and Primary Care, Social Care & Mental Health,” said Peter Kirk, CEO for SERMO.

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.”