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Cutting through the clutter

February 2013

Published in the February 2013 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

If one of your goals this year is to plow through your stack of unread journals, you may be interested in a new service.

Docphin Pro is a free, Web-based platform that allows physicians to personalize the information they receive. Once a week, Docphin sends subscribers an e-mail with the table of contents of those medical journals that physicians choose to follow, with links to full-text articles. The e-mail also notes pertinent articles and information from consumer media sources and medical societies that doctors want to follow, as well as information from physicians’ own institutions. Online, doctors log into a page with their customized links.

The idea, says Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, one of Docphin’s three cofounders, was to find an easier way to put information in the hands of providers and keep them up to date.

The service spares physicians the constant e-mail clutter from multiple medical journals, all with different publication schedules. It also helps doctors avoid the hassle of personal log-ins to access full-text articles. Docphin streamlines access for individual physicians through institutional subscriptions, so full text is only one click away.

And the service saves doctors from dealing with social media to post articles, which Dr. Patel claims just produces more work.

“To get a discussion going on a particular article,” he says, “doctors must access the article through multiple clicks and log-ins, and then post it online, hoping that others discuss it.” With Docphin, one click allows them to share the article via e-mail or Twitter, post it to Facebook or comment on it onsite.

Other Docphin features include an iPhone app and the option of saving favorite articles to your own cloud-based virtual library.

Plus, the “trending” feature gives doctors a constantly updated stream of the top 5 articles being read in the journals they follow, as well as top articles being read by doctors in their specialty and institution.

Docphin now has subscribers in more than 80 medical centers across all specialties. Subscribers can choose from among 300 medical journals and 250 other information streams.

Dr. Patel, who’s 30, is a practicing internist in Philadelphia and a Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Another of the company’s cofounders is a hospitalist in San Diego.

The service plans to release both an Android and iPad app this spring. And “we hear from many other professionals such as biomedical engineers who want access to medical research articles,” says Dr. Patel. “We’ll be opening up the service to everyone.”

More information is online at Docphin.