MedicalPlexus is a new online medical community from a group of Harvard residents and MIT graduate students. Based on an Ajax platform called Backbase, the website aims to bring together clinicians, researchers and medical students to share clinical cases, images and videos. MedicalPlexus, a finalist for the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Information Technology award, is currently open only to medical students, physicians, or residents around the U.S. who are affiliated with an academic medical center. The website is already enjoying popularity with a number of residency programs and clinical departments at Harvard Medical School and its affiliate hospitals, Brigham and Women’s and MGH.
We tried the service in the last couple of weeks, and we liked its intuitive interface. MedicalPlexus is designed with two things in mind. On the one hand, the website allows clinicians to have an online place to meet and collaborate for such things as presentations and grand rounds. In the same venue, academic departments can use this platform for assignments, knowledge base creation, or other collaborative projects. The multimedia, be it images, videos or documents, can easily be embedded, tagged, and annotated.
The other important aspect of MedicalPlexus is its powerful interface designed with an individual in mind. You can mingle outside of your department/group by making friends, asking questions, or just browsing through others’ projects and multimedia (or profiles, if you are into people watching).
We spoke to Nambi Nallasamy, one of the founders of MedicalPlexus, and he has assured us that each new member is carefully checked for credentials and all MedicalPlexus members are not anonymized in any way. You can see each member’s credentials, place of practice, and hence have assurances that other members are real clinicians that you can learn from and collaborate with, and not just some industry trolls or journalists. As we have reported earlier, Sermo.com, a competitor of MedicalPlexus, has been plagued in the past with non-clinician registrations, and as far as we know Sermo has never taken any steps to re-register its members.
In conclusion, if you are affiliated with an academic medical center, go ahead and try MedicalPlexus, you might like what you see and learn.