Baltimore, Maryland, November 15, 2001. The National Library of Medicine and the American Medical Association have joined the MedBiquitous Consortium, the architect of the first global technology platform for professional medical societies. With 21 members, the Consortium now comprises a core group of leading medical societies including the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American College of Radiology, the American College of Surgeons, the American Head and Neck Society, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, CTSnet, the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery, and the International Council of Ophthalmology. In addition, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and UNITAR, a virtual university in Malaysia, have joined as university members.
Founded by Johns Hopkins Medicine and several member societies in May, the MedBiquitous Consortium's mission is to transform the world's medical societies into vibrant online communities. By building these communities on a secure, interoperable, and exclusive technology platform, the Consortium will become, in effect, a global community of professional medicine, providing physicians worldwide with unprecedented access to high-quality information and sophisticated tools through member Web sites.
The MedBiquitous Consortium will create this platform through an XML (Extensible Markup Language) framework for professional medical societies that will enhance their ability to communicate with their members and with other organizations. XML is a standard that makes it easier to exchange structured data over the Web. Once the Consortium's standards are in place, participating organizations will use XML and Web services to automate transactions among professional medical societies, industry partners, and vendors. Top personnel from IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Rational Software provide technical expertise to the Consortium.
"Critical to this kind of effort is getting the right parties to the table," said Peter Greene, M.D., Executive Director of the MedBiquitous Consortium. "The American Medical Association and the National Library of Medicine are outstanding organizations. With our current members, we have the most credible partners for providing top-quality information to physicians. The addition of the American Medical Association and the National Library of Medicine means that we have gained critical mass."
"The MedBiquitous Consortium is critical to allowing top-quality information providers to work more effectively with one another," said Cathy DeAngelis, M.D., editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "Without standards, searching for and finding relevant information is incredibly difficult. MedBiquitous content standards will make the discovery of quality medical information much easier. The Consortium is exactly in line with JAMA's objective to promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of public health."
"MedBiquitous is an ambitious initiative that will have a strong impact on the way medical information is developed and distributed," said Simon Liu, PhD., Director of Computer And Communications Systems for the National Library of Medicine. "We are already using XML for our current abstracts system, and it helps us to effectively manage thousands of abstract submissions. We are happy to share our experiences with MedBiquitous and work on other large-scale efforts that will benefit professional medicine."
Now that a core group of Society members have joined, the Consortium has accelerated its next phase of growth: expanding its circle of membership to industry. "There are a number of critical ways that industry can and should plug into the MedBiquitous effort," said Carey Kriz, Managing Director of Commerce and Industry Initiatives for the Consortium. "Our job is to get the major players to the table-both societies and corporations-and help them decide how."
For further information, visit the MedBiquitous Consortium Web site at http://www.medbiq.org/ or contact Valerie Smothers at 410-735-6142.