Medpedia Now Includes News & Analysis, Alerts, Q&A

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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 [2]. The services complement Medpedia’s reliable crowdsourcing of health and medical information.

Medpedia: Reliable Crowdsourcing of Health and Medical Information

According to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 61% of adults look online for health information [1]. Surprisingly however, three-quarters of those searching don’t consistently check the source and date of the health reference they find [2]. Indeed, searching for health information online is dangerous and finding credible, up-to-date sources of health information can be a challenge.

Wikipedia is the Web’s most popular free online encyclopedia. If you’ve ever searched for health or medical content online, Wikipedia articles typically appear at or near the top of search engine results. Nevertheless, Wikipedia’s medical entries are prone to manipulation and are not reliable [3]. Moreover, in many cases you don’t know who has contributed content nor their background or expertise.

Wisdom of crowds is the new model for innovation on the Internet in which collective knowledge is thought to be superior to the intelligence of the few. Nevertheless, not all crowds are wise. Recent cases and new research suggests that crowdsourcing is only truly successful when it is focused on a specific task and when the most effective collaborators are involved [4].

Enter Medpedia.

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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. A joint effort with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other global health organizations, the intent of Medpedia is to be a repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world and freely available to the general public. Unlike Wikipedia, which allows anyone to modify 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.

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