Australian guideline developers join forces to advance Living Evidence

A new report published today heralds an exciting development for evidence-based health care in Australia, with the promise of near real-time incorporation of research into evidence-based guideline recommendations now a step closer to reality. 

The Living Evidence for Australian Health Care report details the outcomes of forum hosted by Cochrane Australia last month which brought together leading experts in evidence synthesis and guideline development across several of Australia’s most pressing chronic diseases to explore opportunities for advancing ‘Living’ models of systematic review and guideline production.

Over the last five years, Cochrane and a number of Australian and international partners have developed the foundations of the Living Evidence model of evidence synthesis and dissemination. This world-leading approach harnesses innovations in data systems, machine learning and citizen science to enable near real-time updating of systematic reviews, evidence-based guideline recommendations and other evidence products. Importantly, the Living Evidence model fast-tracks evidence synthesis without compromising the rigorous, gold standard methods for systematic review that are needed to provide trustworthy recommendations about what works best in health based on the all of the evidence generated to date.

In what represents a world-first effort, leaders from stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and musculoskeletal conditions agreed to work together to drive the development of Living Evidence in Australia, with a shared commitment to achieving the best health outcomes for Australians by enabling consumers, health care providers and governments to access and use the best available evidence based on up-to-the minute research.

Cochrane’s Lead for Evidence Systems, Associate Professor Julian Elliott said 'For far too long, the time lag between publication of a new clinical trial and the incorporation of those results into evidence-based recommendations has been measured in years. We now have the opportunity to reduce that to weeks. We are tremendously excited to be working with such an innovative and committed consortium of partners who really are at the forefront of global development in Living Evidence.'

For more information about the Living Evidence Consortium initiative, please contact:

A/Prof Julian Elliott, Lead, Evidence Systems, Cochrane
Email: julian.elliott@monash.edu

Rhiannon Tate, Program Lead, Evidence Innovation, Cochrane Australia
Email: rhiannon.tate@monash.edu

Early work to develop and test the suite of technical tools and streamlined processes that underpin the Living Evidence model was enabled through Project Transform funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Cochrane Game Changer Initiative.