Living Documentation

Dynamic documentation tool
What is it?

Living Documentation collects all information from scientific publications within a certain field of research. At this moment, the application is used for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). A specialist treating patients with the specific disease, can easily and quickly see what kind of treatment is recommended for a specific symptom (e.g. weariness) in scientific literature. The system shows a list of interventions that have been studied, next to the outcomes compared to a control group. This web-based research tool automatically lets new literature be rated by colleagues, and sorts articles by relevance. Next to this, the system enables a comparison of multiple articles simultaneously by performing a meta-analysis.

How does it work?

Living Documentation performs a scientific literature search daily, on a topic that has been predetermined by the user. New literature (from search engines like PubMed) is added to the inbox of an editor of the Living Documentation system. The article is then assigned to two reviewers (specialists/researchers within the specific field of interest) that will screen the article for relevance. When a consensus is reached, a third reviewer extracts important data from the article, including the patient population, studied intervention, control group, and outcomes. These data are then checked and approved by another reviewer. After all steps have been completed, the article and all the data are added to the system, and become visible for doctors using the platform as an information source.

What are the possibilities?

The application can be adjusted to your wishes. You could set a broad research question, but also narrow down the criteria for a patient population, or select one specific intervention treatment. Since all articles are filtered before selection, multiple questions can be answered in one search, by sorting the results by outcome or by intervention.

And what about the data (security)?

Living Documentation can only be accessed using registered login credentials. Editors are authorized to create new users (reviewers), and appoint these to review articles retrieved by the system. All data is stored using a server that complies with all European laws and regulations for storing this type of data.  

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