WorldOne extends digital footprint with Sermo acquisition

Developer of healthcare data and research tools, WorldOne, announced July 19 its acquisition of Cambridge, Mass.-based Sermo, which prides itself as being the largest online community of U.S. physicians.

Sermo's membership has grown to 130,000 physicians and hundreds of clients in the past six years, including eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world, officials said.

[See also: Sermo launches mobile app for immediate access to physician network.]

This past year WorldOne launched a new division, WorldOne Interactive, which is focused on leveraging emerging technologies and social media applications to connect healthcare professionals worldwide. The acquisition of Sermo, with its discussion and crowd-sourcing platform for physicians, will expand WorldOne's interactive and digital engagement capabilities, officials noted.

"Sermo fits in perfectly with our strategy to extend our digital footprint across healthcare market research and enhance our growing portfolio of innovative engagement solutions," said WorldOne CEO Peter Kirk.

[See also: Sermo, AMA spar over physician frustrations.]

WorldOne's global network includes 1.7 million healthcare professionals, including more than 1 million physicians in 80 countries. The addition of Sermo's membership should further increase this reach, expanding research opportunities and increasing physician discussion and collaboration, said officials.

"As Sermo grew the most vibrant online physician community in the U.S. and, more recently, provided clients more robust research and promotion opportunities, clients asked for global reach and more key specialists," said Sermo CEO Tim Davenport. "WorldOne adds both of these overnight, while Sermo greatly augments WorldOne's online and interactive business."

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