Medpedia to transform health info
THE phenomenal success of free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has provided the inspiration for a new site devoted exclusively to medicine.
Due for a launch at the end of the year, Medpedia will use the same ‘bottom-up’ approach as its forerunner to develop a knowledge database.
Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan Medical Schools and the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health are involved in writing the initial non-editable content of the site, with additional content supplied by medical professionals. All submissions will be vetted by an accredited editor.
Medpedia said its aim was to build the world’s “most comprehensive resource about medicine, health and the body, and to make it freely available”.
“[It will] transform how both medical professionals and the public acquire and understand [health] information.”
Associate Professor Ron Tomlins, chair of the RACGP’s national standing committee on quality care, said that, given the calibre of the initial contributors, the site would be useful for GPs and patients.
But he also cautioned GPs against using it to answer every question.
“I don’t think there is likely to be a single website to solve everyone’s problems any more than there is a single path to salvation.”
He added that patients would need to understand medications mentioned on the site might not be available worldwide.