A wiki for and by the medical community to grow medical knowledge

The Medpedia Project (www.medpedia.com) launched last month 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, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other leading global health organisations, are contributing in various ways to Medpedia. Since the announcement of the Medpedia Project in July 2008, over 110 organisations 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. The goal is to develop a repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world, and freely available to everyone.

Medpedia includes three interrelated services:

  • a collaborative knowledge base
  • a Professional Network and Directory for health professionals and organisations, and
  • Communities of Interest in which medical professionals and non-professionals can share information about conditions, treatments, lifestyle choices, etc.

Interestingly the development of Medpedia seems like a positive response to the call from William Badke whom last year encouraged the denouncers from the academic community to embrace wikipedia, improve it and connect it into other digital resources. See his article published in Information Today (March 2008), entitled What to do with wikipedia? in which he challenges the oft quoted antipathy in academic circles towards wikipedia.

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