Traditional medical journals have been around for centuries — chronicling scientific advancements and medical knowledge since the late 1700's.
Although many of the esteemed peer reviewed publications like the New England Journal of Medicine have become available online, most have remained locked behind pay walls — not allowing the general public to view the content without having to pay hefty fees.
One Palo Alto start-up Curēus (pronounced "curious"), is attempting to radically change all that by re-imagining peer reviewed scientific publications to become more social and user-friendly in our internet age.
The co-operative ownership structure that Curēus employs, enables those who produce, review and contribute medical research into their eco-system to ultimately share in the company’s financial success.
“The average Joe has little to no access to the medical literature today,” Stanford neurosurgeon John Adler, MD told the SF Gate. “It's not right. It should be a human right.”
“We're trying to take the huge revolution in communication and blend it with the medical world,” Dr. Adler told the SF Gate, who himself has published more than 200 papers in traditional medical journals throughout his career.
“Nowadays, you wouldn't go to a restaurant without Yelping it first. You wouldn't go see a movie without seeing what Rotten Tomatoes had to say about it. But medical journals are still stuck in this 200-year-old paradigm.”
If you think Dr. Adler is some lone voice calling out in the wilderness beyond the drone of the traditional journal monopoly — you might want to take an second look. Adler has successfully assembled a prestigious editorial board of over 170 leading physicians worldwide at Curēus inside of a very short timeline.
Curēus is hell-bent on disrupting the way traditional medical journals have become a barrier to ground breaking, clinical studies in peer reviewed literature — perpetuating outdated processes that can sometimes keep key research from being published for years.
The idea of crowdsourcing open-access medical journals may have reached a critical tipping point — as the electronic information age of mobile healthcare and social media pushes in from all sides at an accelerated pace.
With the number of people who’ve downloaded a health app nearly doubling in one year from 124 million in 2011 to 247 million in 2012 — it's obvious that the appetite for instant access to relevant medical information is on a gargantuan growth curve.
Dr. Adler is convinced that expanded access to information will benefit everyone.“We aspire to be the journal, not just a journal,” he said. A grand vision that should be making the old guard at traditional medical journals a bit nervous right about now.
Especially since joining Curēus and accessing its content is free.
via SF Gate