I traditionally start the year highlighting the impact of Trip. Unfortunately this relies on Google Analytics and for some reason our Analytics disappeared mid-year and Google cannot tell me why or how this happened. So, over ten years of data gone. But, tellingly, we’ve not reinstalled it as I never had the time to spend understanding the data and acting upon it. It reminds me of the Einstein quote “Many of the things you can count, don’t count. Many of the things you can’t count really count.”.
If we look back at the results for 2017 we improved care, globally, on a massive scale. This year our usage is more likely to be higher than lower – so our impact grows and grows!
But what are the other highlights:
Clinical Guidelines – the National Guideline Clearinghouse was shut down mid-2018 and so, as a premier source of guidelines, we stepped in and further boosted our guideline coverage. We now have unrivalled guideline coverage and we featured recently in this article: National Guideline Clearinghouse Is No More: Keep Calm and Search On.
Automated evidence synthesis – The main fruit from our Horizon 2020 funded project appeared in mid-2018 – our automated evidence mapping work. It’s great to get it out there and we hope to do further work later on this year. I’ve finally submitted a paper describing it so, fingers crossed, that’ll appear in the near future. This was a lot of work and it’s sad that the KConnect project has now ended.
Cochrane ‘crisis’ – that hit in September. I’ve long been critical of Cochrane so it was perhaps not as surprising to me as to others. Still, it was unpleasant for many and the implications will take time to be realised.
Trip Evidence Service – I was particularly pleased with the release of the Evidence Service as we started Trip to support reactive – manual – clinical Q&A services we were involved in. I still enjoy undertaking rapid reviews to support clinical care/policy. The evidence service was produced to take advantage of our skills and also support others with a lack of access to the time/skills to do the reviews themselves. But still a little way off my dream of working full-time on Trip!
Snippets – A small improvement but one that I was happy to see!
Academic papers – I’m not a big writer of papers but occasionally get involved and these are the stand out ones:
- Extracting the Population, Intervention, Comparison and Sentiment from Randomized Controlled Trials – part of the automation project.
- Catalogue of bias: observer bias – I’m involved in the CEBM Catalogue of Bias and this paper came from that work (which is ongoing).
- The TRIP database showed most Acute Respiratory Infections questions were already addressed by Cochrane reviews – a paper which helped demonstrate the worth of Trip in supporting research prioritisation.
- Rapid reviews may produce different results to systematic reviews: a meta-epidemiological study – very pleased to get this out and on Christmas Eve!
Business side of things – We’ve had a Freemium business model for a few years now and it really has proved our saving grace. We have no organisational/government backers so we need to earn everything we spend. It’s both perilous but also rewarding to be so independent. Last year we significantly increased our institutional subscribers and that’s left us in a pretty good financial position. This has been supplemented by the Evidence Service and also a number of consultancy pieces of work around evidence and automation.
2019 – Plans for this year
Hopefully, by the end of January, we’ll be rolling out two major developments:
- Mobile app – we’re in the final stages of testing
- Increased full-text coverage – currently, via our linking to PubMedCentral, 38% of all our journal articles link to full-text (for Pro subscribers). We’re working with UnPayWall and that will see coverage increase to 57%. This is a really important addition and we’re delighted.
We’re already working on a more substantial upgrade which will cover:
- Community – creating a system to encourage our users to support each other.
- Rapid review system – using community support and a ‘wizard’ (step-by-step support) to create timely rapid reviews.
- Clinical Q&A – we’re still working on this but it might well end up looking a bit like Quora for health professionals.
Then, who knows about the second-half of the year! I think we’ll do some further work on the automation project but the rest we’ll see how things develop. If you have any ideas then please get in touch.
Have a great year
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