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IBM team up to help launch new pediatrics social network

10.07.2013
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The potential for learning opportunities to be both delivered and facilitated via mobile and social platforms has been growing rapidly in the healthcare industry over the past 18 months.  Earlier this year, some research by John Hopkins University discovered that doctors and other healthcare professionals gain significantly from interacting with peers via social media.

Sixty-one percent of the doctors said they use social media once a week or more to look for information, and 46 percent said they contribute new information once a week or more, according to the study, which appeared in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

So a new project being spearheaded by IBM and Boston Children’s Hospital should be fascinating to watch.  The project, called OPENPediatrics, aims to improve the exchange of medical knowledge on the care of critically ill children no matter where they live.

The site will initially provide insight and support for professionals in an intensive care environment, but the aim is to expand outwards from there with a variety of interactive, digital and social learning experiences offered.  The content itself is being supplied by experts from Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Nothing breaks down walls and brings people together like caring for a critically ill child,” said Jeffrey Burns, MD, MPH, chief of Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. “With IBM’s technology and services arsenal and our critical care expertise, we partnered to bring our vision of stronger pediatric care to countries across the globe. In doing so, we’re extending the reach of medical education to help save children’s lives and laying the groundwork for the Digital Hospital of the future.”

The site will contain state of the art simulations, video seminars and illustrations to aid in the treatment of critically ill patients.  In addition to the formal learning tools, there will also be a discussion forum to allow professionals from around the world to meet and discuss the latest treatments and best practices.

“Boston Children’s Hospital recognized a need to enable smarter medical decisions when children’s lives are at stake,” said Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, Software Solutions Group, IBM. “Through the power of social networking and cloud technologies, IBM has been able to significantly advance the dissemination of knowledge around the world to help ensure better patient outcomes. OPENPediatrics is a perfect example of the transformative power of technology to help solve healthcare’s most pressing problems.”

The platform is currently in beta mode, but the full release is expected later this year, with the social learning platform underpinning the site expected to branch out into other industries later in 2013.  You can find out more about the site in the video below.

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