Sermo apologizes for ‘misinterpretation’

On Friday, I called out physician social network Sermo for its “Pro Football Injury Challenge.” Someone fr0m the company was watching, even over the weekend, because Sermo put up a response on its blog on Sunday, apologizing for “insensitive language” in the original e-mail that led to, as the unnamed blogger put it, an “unfortunate misinterpretation” that “we were asking doctors to predict future player injuries.”

According to Sermo, the Pro Football Injury Challenge “was intended solely for physicians to aggregate data like the PBS study performed last pro football season, which exposed and quantified the true magnitude of player injuries in the NFL.” The post continued:

The focus of this Challenge is to aggregate physician opinion around injury recovery, with  frank supporting discussions on trending topics in the sport (e.g., concussions) being hosted on Sermo.  By collecting physician opinion on how concussions (in the aggregate) are trending in pro football, we are complementing and expanding the clinical discussion prior to the upcoming PBS Special, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.  Contrary to what has been reported, we have not nor would we ever design a game that rewards predictions of injury or illness to any individual, nor are we seeking to exploit, de-humanize or profit from these patients, their loved ones or their caregivers.

The rationale behind the Challenge is, has been, and will be to help decrease the number, severity and recurrence of all sports-related of injuries by eliciting physicians’ opinions on proper injury recovery periods and methods.

OK, Sermo, you have earned the benefit of the doubt for now. I hope the physician community holds you to your word.