Finding Evidence for Updates in Medical Guidelines

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Medical guidelines are documents that describe optimal treatment for patients by medical practitioners based on current medical research (evidence), in the form of step-by-step recommendations. Because the field of medical research is very large and always evolving, keeping these guidelines up-to-date with the current state of the art is a difficult task. In this paper, we propose a method for finding relevant evidence for supporting the medical guideline updating process. Our method that takes from the evidence-based medical guideline the recommendations and their corresponding evidence as its input, and that queries PubMed, the world's largest search engine for medical citations, for potential new or improved evidence. We built a prototype and performed a feasibility study on a set of old recommendations, and compared the output to evidence for the newer version. The system succeeded in finding goal articles for 11 out of 16 recommendations, but in total, only 20 out of 71 articles were retrieved. Our ranking method for most relevant articles worked well for small result sets, but for large result sets it failed to rank the goal articles in the top 25 results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHEALTHINF 2015 - 8th International Conference on Health Informatics, Proceedings; Part of 8th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2015
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789897580680
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event8th International Conference on Health Informatics, HEALTHINF 2015 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 12 Jan 201515 Jan 2015


Conference8th International Conference on Health Informatics, HEALTHINF 2015


  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Medical guideline updates
  • Medical guidelines


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