New support to boost translation of health research into practice


Cochrane Australia at Monash University is delighted to announce the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Cochrane and Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) ongoing work to build, pilot, and scale a next generation evidence system to transform the translation of health research into practice.

Co-Principal Investigator is Julian Elliott of Cochrane Australia, and project management will also be undertaken by Cochrane Australia, situated in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. This new project will build on Project Transform, a major Cochrane project that is helping Australian health organisations and guideline developers use the latest research to improve healthcare.

The next generation evidence system is developing new approaches including machine learning, crowd engagement and ‘living’ systematic reviews to change the ways health data are used to discover new insights for global health.

“Cochrane is helping to create new ways of synthesising the results of health research and this project will be an important step of that journey,” Julian Elliott said.

“These systems will be more efficient and collaborative and enable research to impact on health care in near real time.”

This project has three components that together make a significant contribution to these novel systems:

  1. Building an active online citizen science community who will build skills and contribute to a wide range of 'micro-tasks' required to generate systematic reviews through the Cochrane Crowd platform.
  2. Developing, implementing, and validating natural language processing and machine learning systems that semi-automate the extraction of tabular data from research publications.
  3. Utilizing the above systems to deliver two exemplar 'living' systematic reviews.

The Foundation will provide a grant to support the work of Cochrane and OHSU teams and partners in the USA, UK, and Australia.

“Systematic reviews that bring the best science to bear on clinical decisions are a cornerstone of patient-centred care,” Co-Principal Investigator of the project, Mark Helfand, said.

“Living systematic reviews offer the best option for a future in which the public contributes to timely reviews that can move the best evidence into practice.”