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Important Updates to ProMED

Dear ProMED Community,

As a user of ProMED, you are hopefully aware that ProMED has provided information on emerging and re-emerging diseases to the world, free of charge, for almost 30 years. There is an ongoing misperception that because ProMED has been around for so long and has such a successful track record, that it is well funded. Unfortunately, this is not the case. To put it frankly, ProMED is in dire financial straits.

ProMED is in need of unrestricted operational funding, and we have found that those opportunities are few and far between as various regional and global surveillance hub efforts come online. While the COVID-19 pandemic made the entire world aware of the importance of pandemic preparedness and epidemic surveillance, ProMED has been unable to capitalize on the unprecedented amounts of money that were infused into this space. This is because our traditional funders have moved to project-based funding under the premise that other government and international entities will cover sustainment costs.

When we launched a $1 million fundraising campaign in October of 2022, we raised $20,000. Although these donations were greatly appreciated, it further highlights the disconnect between sustainable funding and the varied perceptions of who should pay that bill. Further complicating the situation, several government and business entities use and disseminate ProMED data in violation of our terms of service and have thus far been unwilling or unable to help ensure our financial viability.

We have heard repeatedly that no one else does what ProMED does and that our data is critical for our many users, but that has not translated to the sustainable funding we so desperately need.

This has necessitated very difficult decisions to be made to continue providing ProMED’s vital services. We have started, and will continue over the coming months, to roll out significant changes at ProMED to secure its future.

  1. ProMED’s Twitter and RSS feeds were turned off on June 2, 2023. This change is permanent to stop unauthorized data scraping. 
  2. As of today, July 14th, the “Search Posts” feature on the ProMED website has changed to only allow users to search for posts from the previous month. 
  3. This fall we will launch a new home page for the ProMED website where all visitors will create a login to access any information on the website.
    1. The new home page will also include a paid subscription model where users will be able to subscribe to different tiers. Each tier will deliver access to different types and amounts of information and will determine how far back in the ProMED archives users can search for past posts. 
  4. We will enforce ProMED’s terms of service.  

If you would like to request ProMED data and pricing in light of these changes, please contact us at [email protected]

We know this is likely difficult news and is not what anyone would prefer to happen. However, allowing ProMED to cease operations would be a far worse outcome for the many entities that depend on the critical alerts and historical data we provide. Looking ahead, we envision ProMED not only as the pre-eminent platform for event-based surveillance but also the nexus for modeling, forecasting, and predictive analytics that will not only help to identify a potential pandemic event, but predict it before it even starts.

If you or your organization is interested in providing long-term funding or donating to ProMED, or if you have specific questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Thank you for your understanding and for your support of ProMED. We look forward to serving you for another 30 years and beyond! 

Kind regards,

The ProMED team

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