Harnessing Online Communities to Further Medical Research

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The ability to collaborate for researchers is critical to the success of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The advent of large-scale scientific endeavors like the Human Genome Project and new research areas (e.g. bioinformatics, proteomics, genomics, systems biology and personalized medicine) have made the amount of complex biomedical data grow exponentially. It also has made the need for collaboration between different kinds of scientists a necessity. More and more, biologists, chemists, clinical researchers, and other scientists must cross traditional scientific boundaries to get the expertise they need to be successful in the new world of biological science. With that, technology is playing an ever-expanding role in enabling the new wave of modern science.

An example of how technology is changing this field is found in a new site launching Jan. 11 called BioMedExperts.com. It's a social networking site for biomedical and life science researchers. The site creates a totally new level of collaboration by connecting researchers from around the world and enabling them to interact and share ideas, research and information. Developed by Collexis, the site launches Jan. 11 with 1.4 million biomedical expert profiles and 12 million pre-established network connections from more than 120 countries all based on what researchers have published. It's evidence of the power of technology to change the way research is currently done and could have tremendous effects on progress within the biomedical research community.

Of course this is just one way technology can drive improvements in health care and life sciences. Dell sees potential across the board from electronic health records and e-prescribing to digital imaging and streamlined clinical trial processes. The connection among all of these groups opens the potential to create a more efficient health care and life sciences systems that results in better and safer care for patients and a lower cost for health care in the United States.

To learn more about how technology can impact the U.S. health care system, check out this report from the Technology CEO Council. To learn more about Dell and health care, visit www.dell.com/healthcare.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on how technology can drive improvements in health care and life sciences. Post your comments on this blog or other ideas on IdeaStorm.

About the Author: James Coffin Ph.D

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