Medicine

Next generation stroke solution will save lives

The Australian Government in partnership with Stroke Foundation and Cochrane Australia is set to revolutionise the rapid translation of medical discoveries into clinical practice, saving lives and improving health outcomes.

In a world-first, ‘living stroke guidelines’ are set to be piloted, accelerating access to world-class, evidenced based treatments and care.

Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt announced the $1.5 million Medical Research Future Fund pilot.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the Living Guidelines for Stroke Management would deliver a near real-time, closed-loop evidence system in which global evidence and local data are continually integrated with clinical expertise.

“All Australians deserve world class health care. Evidence based clinical practice guidelines are key to establishing effective, high quality, consistent and safe healthcare practices and policies,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Australia is a leader in the field of medical research, however conventional updating of clinical practice guidelines periodically often lead to out-of-date treatment recommendations and care.

“Current systems for translating stroke research into improved clinical practice and health outcomes for Australians are slow, resource heavy and expensive. The Living Guidelines for Stroke Management mark a new era in the ability to support health services.”

Associate Professor Julian Elliott, Global Lead of Evidence Systems for Cochrane and Senior Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia, said learnings from Living Guidelines for Stroke Management will be an important demonstration of how advances in technology and collaboration can change the way research is translated into clinical practice – not just for stroke but for a range of other serious health conditions.

“More than 75 trials are published every day, and with ongoing exponential growth in research it’s almost impossible for anyone to keep up’’ A/Prof Elliott said.

“Engulfed by information, clinicians are struggling to know what research is relevant and robust, and this leads to poor, and potentially harmful, health care decisions. Trustworthy clinical guidelines up to date with the latest research are necessary to provide clarity and aid decision making.

“The Living Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management will draw on latest evidence synthesis technologies developed by Cochrane and partners, including artificial intelligence, the Cochrane Crowd citizen science community, and world-leading software platforms (Covidence and MAGICapp).

“These systems will continually identify relevant new research and enable this research to be incorporated into living systematic reviews, triggering rapid updates of individual guideline recommendations whenever there is an important change in the evidence,’’ he said.

Source: Stroke Foundation

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