The Twitter Chat that Killed Sermo


I’m not a physician. I don’t play one on TV. And I’d never heard of Sermo, the largest online physician community in the US (boasting 120,000 members) until @HJLuks mentioned them the week before.

Mine was an innocent invitation to talk during last night’s #MedDevice chat, a feature of the Medical Devices Group, LinkedIn’s largest medical community.

Who knew it could unravel the company.

According to its About page, Sermo is where practicing US physicians – spanning 68 specialties and all 50 states – collaborate on difficult cases and exchange observations about drugs, devices, and clinical issues.

They explain, “Sermo is free to practicing physicians. Revenue is generated as healthcare institutions, financial services firms and government agencies purchase Sermo products to access this elite group of practitioners.”

@TomRines from @SermoTeam began the #MedDevice chat introducing the company and its clientele.

Wait. Did he just say what I think he said?

Sermo listens to physicians conversations to mine business and competitive intel?

@MegloPresto asked about Sermo’s value prop vs. similar platforms. Some of these questions went unanswered and I’m hoping Sermo might address the questions – and negative reactions to the chat – in the comments. Twitter Sermo

It was a tough night for @TomRines and @SermoTeam. I’m sorry it went this way for them. I had no idea what I was walking into or how visceral the reactions would be.

Graciously, Tom ended on this optimistic note: Sermo offer

But if RichmondDoc’s signoff is any indication, I’m afraid it may be too late.