A few weeks ago, the prestigious JAMA Network Journal published an observational comparative study of systematic reviews that revealed the enormous overproduction of evidence on COVID-19, as well as the duplicity of subjects in research and the great problem that this has brought when trying to ensure exhaustivity in evidence synthesis, using traditional synthesis methods.
The study, elaborated by members of the Epistemonikos Foundation team, along with renowned researchers Dr Giordano Pérez-Gaxiola and Dr Iván Flores, compared the great number of systematic reviews about imaging findings of COVID-19 in children. Due to its innovative methods and conclusive results, the study was recently selected by the James Lind Library as a historical record, part of fair testing history. The Library selects and gathers records and scientific articles in order to illustrate the development of fair tests of treatments in health care, giving special relevance to the efforts put on improving method accuracy in scientific research development.
“This means that the scientific community recognizes the issue that we have been coming to identify for a while now, and has been revealed with this pandemic, which is the inability of the traditional evidence synthesis methods to process the huge amounts of information that are being produced on the same subjects”, says Dr Francisca Verdugo, one of the authors and methodologist in Epistemonikos Foundation. Consequently, adds Dr Verdugo, “being considered for this registry is a great recognition of our proposal to face and solve this problem, through collaborative work, technological innovation and the possibility of creating ‘living evidence’ as an input for decision-making”.
Dr Verdugo refers to using the L·OVE Platform in this process, a technological development by Epistemonikos Foundation, which has proven to be one of the most efficient tools for the tasks of searching, gathering and screening the available scientific evidence for a given research question, exceeding the results of conventional methods of evidence synthesis. The combination of methodological innovation and tech development opens a beacon of hope when it comes to this issue, through what these authors have called ‘living evidence’, which is the heart of the efforts registered by the library in this recognition.
Dr Gabriel Rada, co-founder of Epistemonikos Foundation and also a collaborator in the study, is certain that “this pandemic will be surely remembered as one of the periods with the greatest research production about the same subject in history. The amount of evidence produced during the last year about COVID-19 is unprecedented for any scientific subject ever, and thus it requires high levels of innovation and development, that allow researchers to process efficiently this level of information. Thanks to our L·OVE Platform, we can, fortunately, make a useful contribution to this challenge, by providing an efficient and reliable tool that helps tackle important issues like the duplicity of efforts”.