Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


July 2006

More on Google Health

Google preparing health portal; pitching WebMD and Intuit as partners

Web 2.0

An interesting entry on Dean’s blog about web 2.0 . Not being particularly technical I struggle with terms such as ‘web 2.0’! However, following some links it appears to be a move from static web-content to content that a user can interact with and alter – if they desire. Dean’s blog entry links to a EBM 2.0 brainstorm from the guy who runs the clinical cases blog.

So how can we let users improve the TRIP Database and for that matter the Q&A Services?

For Q&A I’ve often wanted a ‘rapid response’ style service (as seen on the BMJ). This allows a reader of a particular paper to raise issues. With Q&A we’re a rapid service that doesn’t claim to undertake a systematic review. I’m convinced that user input would enhance the service. The slight problem being that those that control the services aren’t as keen as me!

With regard to TRIP I see two main ways:

1) With the advent of the new TRIP algorithm we can ‘weight’ various variables (date of publication, ‘quality’ of publisher etc). I actually think Dean suggested this bit. But every time people click on a link it can be taken as a ‘vote’ for that paper. Next time that article scores more highly (i.e. returned higher in the results). This allows users to decide what sources they feel are best (as opposed to just the clinical team at TRIP). A few assumptions mixed it – some would like the title of an article and view it and think it’s rubbish. However, this could well balance out.

2) Comments. Allow users to attach comments on a particular article – things they like, clinical application etc. I think this is a great idea but not convinced it’d be well used. It could form part of my plan to create a record for each article. This could include an Amazon-style ‘People who looked at this article also looked at these….’

For user participation in search try Digg.

A web-based library consult service for evidence-based medicine

According to the paper in BioMed Central’s ‘Medical Informatics and Decision Making‘ this paper (click here):

“The LCS system is designed to provide full text evidence-based literature with critical appraisal in response to a clinical question asked by a physician who may be at a remote or rural site. “

It appears to be a type of Q&A service. Not sure about the turnaround time they aim to achieve although this is an outcome to be measured. I always wonder what ‘real’ impact using full-text has. On one level it adds to the robustness of the answer. However, the extent of this difference may be clinically insignificant. Also it invariably adds to costs and turnaround time.

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