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Web address
Type of site
Social network service
Owner Sermo, Longworth Venture Partners, Softbank Capital
Created by Daniel Palestrant
Launched September, 2006
Current status merged with Worldone in 2012.

Sermo is an online community for physicians founded in 2006 by Daniel Palestrant. Open only to licensed M.D.s and D.O.s in the United States, Sermo is a place for physicians to post observations and questions about clinical issues and hear other doctors' opinions.


Sermo was originally imagined as an adverse effect reporting system. Reporting systems failed during Merck's 2004 Vioxx (Rofecoxib) recall, which removed Vioxx, a Cox-2 inhibitor, from the market due to an increased risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack). Daniel Palestrant believed that an online forum could collect and filter these types of observations more effectively than existing systems.[1] The site has since grown into a discussion board covering a variety of non-clinical and clinical topics. The physician founders left in 2012 to start another business venture. Sermo was acquired by WorldOne, Inc. in July 2012.[2]

Some sources refer to Sermo as a “healthcare social network.”[3] Others state that doctors use the site mainly to exchange professional opinions and "advanc[e] the available universe of medical knowledge."[4]


Financial institutions may want to trade on the wisdom of crowds that polling a number of doctors can create, trusting that this group of specially trained individuals will be better at predicting events like FDA approval than the market. At least one Sermo client has profited from this information arbitrage.[5] Health care companies and organizations such as the AMA may focus on discovering doctors’ usage patterns and may value direct access to physicians’ opinions and attitudes about health care today.[6]

Partnership with the AMA[edit]

In May 2007, Sermo announced a partnership with the American Medical Association.[7] The partnership gave doctors the ability to access AMA publications such as JAMA. In return, the AMA received limited access to read content on Sermo and create postings to which doctors can respond directly. This partnership ended in July 2009, amid virulent recriminations.[8]


  1. ^ Genesis of the Sermo idea
  2. ^ "Sermo Reaches 260,000 Physicians", press release by WorldOne, April 10, 2014, "
  3. ^ For Doctors, Patients InformationWeek HealthCare
  4. ^ Baby Breaker Birth Announcements Motley Fool
  5. ^ The Wisdom of the Medical Crowd BusinessWeek[dead link]
  6. ^ AMA Wants Doctors to Swap Ideas Online[dead link]
  7. ^ Net Startup to Unveil AMA Pact The Boston Globe
  8. ^ Ben Comer, "Sermo and AMA break ties, trade insults", Medical Marketing & Media, July 09, 2009

External links[edit]