Wednesday, 17 October 2007

There's Data, And Then There's Medical Data....

From the Wikinomics blog, "Sermo, a social network for physicians, has announced a partnership with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to give its members access to “up-to-date information on Pfizer’s products.”

Wow. Gotta tell you...I don't like where this is going. I had bumped into Sermo back in December, and had discussed it with a number of Doctors I know. Of course all the concerns were voiced...already a great deal of misinformation out there and frankly, most of them would be a lot happier to connect to traditional medical journals and data bases online. That being said, the notion that one could get collective intelligence working in one's favour when it comes to treatment feels appealing for me.

But how am I to trust something like Sermo now? Maybe that is one of the problems with these type of sites. When it comes to my health, I want my sources to be unbiased and not thinking about how to make a buck but rather focused on health. And I get that a lot of Doctor's take fun trips with the pharma companies and get free drugs and presents so maybe this is just making that relationship more transparent.

I still contend however, when it comes to social networking site business models, there's data and then, there's medical data. And I don't think from the healthcare customer's perspective, they are even close to being the same thing.


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