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The Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide initiative to develop an online collaborative source of health and medical information for medical professionals and the general public. Launched in February 2009, the website currently has 34,100 pages of health and medical content (based on a Google domain search), an increase of over 2-fold since July 2009.
The Medpedia Project recently announced the addition of three new tools for sharing and advancing medical knowledge . The services complement Medpedia’s reliable crowdsourcing of health and medical information.
Medpedia News & Analysis
Medpedia News & Analysis consists of over 150 professional, academic and scientific sources that have been reviewed and accepted by the Medpedia medical community. The News & Analysis section is organized by category and keyword(s) on Medpedia, and then is inter-linked with Medpedia article pages, professional networks and discussion forums.
In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, traditional, static websites are being replaced by new media: blogs, wikis and online social networks . This “real-time Web” consists of many who are professionals in the field and have first-hand knowledge about the issues they write about. It’s exciting to see that Medpedia not only recognizes the “real-time Web” but is leveraging it to provide recent, relevant and reliable health information. Together with other real-time sources of health and medical information, our stories here on Highlight HEALTH will help Medpedia be the go-to resource for health and medical information online.
Medpedia Alerts is a platform for aggregating and distributing health and medical news alerts from Twitter, blogs and news media. Fifteen different custom aggregated feeds are available that include alerts from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Heart Association. Additionally, Medpedia members can submit text to be included in Medpedia Alerts; they can also submit a Twitter account or website to be integrated into the platform on an ongoing basis. All submissions are reviewed by the Medpedia community before they go live.
Medpedia Answers enables anyone with a Medpedia profile to ask or answer questions about health or medicine. Three are sixteen categories to choose from. Once you ask a question, it is posted for the community to see. You’ll receive an email alert when another Medpedia member answers it. Questions are also pushed into relevant areas throughout Medpedia, such as patient communities and article pages.
Moving beyond a wiki for medicine
These new tools for sharing and advancing medical knowledge — Medpedia News & Analysis, Medpedia Alerts and Medpedia Answers — as well as the Medpedia knowledgebase and patient communities, expand the Medpedia platform beyond a “Wikipedia for Medicine”.
Matthew Holt from The Health Care Blog recently held an Interview with James Currier, Medpedia founder and chairman. In the discussion, Currier said (15:35):
I don’t think that one has to win over the other [Medpedia and Wikipedia]. I think Medpedia’s a very different animal. If I’m on an article page and I can immediately click over to a community of people who are talking about that and editing that and uploading documents and answering Q&A, that’s going to be as interesting to me as being on Wikipedia, if not more so. So, I think both can co-exist. In fact, we’ve of course been talking to Wikipedia and they’re interested in figuring out how to work with us to get our editors editing more on Wikipedia, because they’re not.
At the rate Medpedia’s knowledgebase is expanding, it won’t be long before it “catches up” to Wikipedia’s medical content (especially if Medpedia editors prefer to manage content on Medpedia and not on Wikipedia). Unlike Wikipedia, which allows anyone to edit pages, Medpedia content creators and editors are required to have an M.D., D.O. or Ph.D. in a biomedical field; each contributor has an author page detailing their qualifications and background. Registered users can suggest changes to the Medpedia knowledgebase, but those changes must be approved by editors. Thus, Medpedia provides for a stringent quality-control process via its editors, ensuring that it is a credible and reliable source of health and medical information. The next time you search for health and medical information, use Medpedia.
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- Medpedia Project Expands Platform To Include Q&A, News & Analysis And Alerts. Medpedia press release. 2009 Nov 10.
- Walter Jessen. The Real-time Web and Characteristics of New Media. 2009 Dec 3.