Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


August 2014

A Trip evidence service?

Trip is a wonderfully useful search engine, widely used and it has a great reputation and brand. We’re thinking we could build on this to create a formalised evidence service. 

An evidence service could undertake a number of roles to support users (probably organisations) for instance:

  • Literature searches
  • Critical appraisals
  • Evidence reviews/synthesis
  • Clinical Q&A
  • Horizon scanning
  • Etc

We have a network of highly skilled information experts who would undertake the work.  Due to our low overheads we could provide a very cost-effective service.

I have experience in the UK where there are a large number of organisations (e.g. CCGs) that do not have timely access to timely, robust evidence to support their decisions.  This is really problematic when introducing changes to the system; how can they be evidence-based with no evidence input?  I doubt UK is atypical in this respect.  Therefore, there is a real opportunity to improve care and improve our business!

If you’re interested in the service and want to help us develop our service then let me know.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Clickstream data is not widely known about.  In short it’s the analysis of users clicking on websites.  We’ve started exploring this and the clickstream we’re using is based on users clicking on particular search results. In short, if you do a search on Trip and click on documents number 2, 4 and 9 you’re effectively telling us that, for your intention, they’re connected.  In isolation it’s arguably meaningless, but over thousands of searches you start to see structure.  I’ve blogged about this previously (here, here and here) but now we’ve got more results.

Below is the largest continuous graph/map of connected documents – over 10,000 long (click on image to expand). 

Recruiting for clinical trials: a role for Trip?

Clinical trials are vital if we wish to improve healthcare, as such they are an important component of EBM.  However, trials are not straightforward and one major problem can be the recruitment of enough patients to ensure the trials have enough power.  There are numerous papers on the topic (well hundreds) and below are a sample:

I raise this as Trip has had two conversations in a week with organisations involved with trial recruitment and both are very interested in working with Trip and our network of users.  Trip has around 100,000 registered health professionals, the vast majority will appreciate the need for clinical trials and therefore be sympathetic to the need to recruit patients.

So, the idea seems to be that if we are made aware of a trial, of say heart failure, we alert health professionals who have indicated an interest in heart failure (either through their registration or their search history) and are based geographically close.

Early days but it seems like a great idea.  As well as hopefully improving patient recruitment it could also help Trip’s finances – win:win.

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