A Spanish medical informatics consultant is enlisting researchers and practitioners in an attempt to create what might be the first truly global online repository of medical images and multimedia for physicians.

“The idea is to create a Web community,” says Miguel Cabrer, president of Medting.com. The interactive site, formerly known as MDPIXX, also includes platforms for clinical exchange and telemedicine.

The temptation is to call Medting a kind of YouTube for medicine, but Cabrer, a former e-health co-ordinator for the Balearic Islands Health Service, sees the site as more of a multimedia version of Snomed. Medting keyword tags are based on Snomed CT terminology, which can automatically translate keywords for indexing in multiple languages.

The site is free for doctors, who can create public or private groups for peer review, teaching, research and clinical decision support. Users can share documents and images, post comments and even vote on clinical interpretations.

A telemedicine component, partially funded by a European Commission grant, allows Medting to offer free second opinions to clinicians in developing countries, says Cabrer, a member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) EMEA governing council.

“People are using it for reference at the point of care or to discuss cases among colleagues and residents (junior doctors),” says HIMSS board chair-elect Dr Barry Chaiken, a health IT consultant in the US who is advising Medting. “You can get feedback from other people.”

Intel is sponsoring an awards program at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. Users have the opportunity to rate cases posted on Medting, and the top-rated will win prizes, Cabrer says.

Medting also offers enterprise-level services to organisations, for a fee, including a white-label version of the site. Information and multimedia can be embedded into external sites.

Among the enterprises that have signed up so far are the Catalonia government, which is using Medting for telestroke care, and USP Hospitales and the affiliated USP International Services in Spain, which have chosen Medting for a corporate image repository, Cabrer says.

The site currently is fully rendered in Spanish and English, and is starting to add content in other tongues. A highlighted case this week is in French, from Medting partner Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland.

The company also has a relationship with the Mayo Clinic in the US and currently is looking for a dedicated US distribution channel—as well as a venture capital investor.