6 physician social networks at a glance: iMedExchange

Site: iMedExchange 

Created: 2008

CEO: Tobin Arthur

Number of members: About 25,000 prior to closing

Target audience: All U.S. physicians

About the network: After not scaling according to initial goals, the site is in the midst of a reboot that should be finalized within the next four to six months, according to Chief Medical Officer Howard Luks, MD. Luks says that despite good intentions (and angel funding of $2.5 million for its initial launch in 2008), iMedExchange "did not possess the secret sauce" for adoption. 

"At one point, it was very much like a microblogging format, like Yammer," Luks says. "[But] what's the value proposition that physicians are looking for that's going to make them want to go to a platform or network each and every day, three times a week, four times a week? That hasn't occurred yet." 

Although Luks could not discuss any specifics with regard to the reboot, he does mention several sites he thought were heading in the right direction, including Doximity and OrthoMind. He also talks about what he believes will be the ultimate key to finding success in social media. 

"There needs to exist a single, standard LinkedIn-style network that lists every physician in the United States," Luks says. "Then if [those doctors] want to play behind the server and talk amongst one another, go ahead. I really think that once such a master database exists and most physicians are on board, they're going to break down into smaller circles," such as OrthoMind, he said.