Vascular Forum: collective intelligence in the resolution of vascular clinical cases

Abstract Background Collective intelligence is extremely important in collective groups that discuss clinical medical cases, assisting professionals in their decision-making processes, and consequently, helping their patients. Objectives To evaluate the rate of resolution and characteristics of the clinical discussions carried out in a private instant messaging group and its clinical applicability. Methods Retrospective analysis of clinical discussions and events on the Vascular Forum, an open group for specialists accessed with mobile devices. Results From July 2015 to July 2017, 1013 subjects were discussed among 680 members. Twenty-six (2.57%) of these subjects were curiosities, 101 (9.97%) related to diagnostic doubts, 492 (48.57%) to treatment doubts, and 205 (20.24%) to general doubts, while 189 (17.5%) were case reports. The mean number of interactions per event was 16.599 (±1.366). The mean time from posting of a new subject to the first reply was 42.14 (±7.55) min. The subject discussed was miscellaneous in 358 cases, venous in 336 cases, lymphatic in 15 cases, and arterial in 304 cases and the total number of replies was 15985. Conclusions Interaction between experts using instant messaging technology proved capable of raising subjects for discussion and eliciting management approaches quickly. The rate of resolution, defined as the time taken for the first correct answer to be posted, was also high. The Vascular Forum proved to be a tool of great clinical value for its participants, confirming the importance of collective intelligence in medicine.