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Norwegian app allows rapid communication of healthcare recommendations

A collaboration between the MAGIC non-profit research and innovation programme and the British Medical Journal will enable updated treatment guidelines to reach healthcare professionals more quickly.

Illustration photo of patient with nurse.

Photo illustration: Øystein H. Horgmo, UiO.

Anyone who is admitted to hospital wishes to receive the best possible treatment based on the latest research. However, the journey from research findings to practical applications can be long. New discoveries within a field must be carefully evaluated against one another, before the new information is communicated to healthcare professionals via industry guidelines. It may take several years for the new information to become widely known.

Contract with the Norwegian Directorate of Health

Photo of Per Olav Vandvik, UiO
Associate professor Per Olav Vandvik, UiO. Photo: Øystein H. Horgmo, UiO

The Directorate of Health has entered into a three-year contract with MAGIC to use the MAGICapp as an authorship tool for writing and digitizing national professional guidelines.

An increasing number of international organizations use the MAGICapp, which will also make it easier for Nordic countries to collaborate on resource-intensive work.

Per Olav Vandvik, researcher at the Institute of Health and Society and holder of a career research grant at Innlandet Hospital Trust, is leading the development of the app.

– The new app can save lives and resources by enabling new information to reach healthcare professionals and their patients more quickly, he says.

Your doctor will now have rapid and direct access to the best possible treatment recommendations in a speedy, comprehensible and quality-assured manner.

The app also shows the advantages and drawbacks of a given treatment. Patients will have access to the same information as healthcare professionals through new tools for shared decision-making.

Disruptive innovation

Organizations that are responsible for summarizing new knowledge and for developing guidelines often have bureaucratic procedures and lack a culture of innovation.

To ensure global access to new knowledge, MAGIC has established an international network of experts and has entered into a collaboration with the British Medical Journal (BMJ) called RapidRecommendations.

– We want to encourage other key players in Norway to work in new and more effective ways. I liken this change in practice to the so-called ‘disruptive innovation’ that Uber and Airbnb have delivered within their sectors. The tools that we currently use to support decision-making have not yet benefited from digitization and innovation in the same way as the rest of society, says Per Olav Vandvik.

In addition to the agreement with the BMJ, MAGIC has also established a partnership with the Cochrane Collaboration, an independent, non-profit organization that systematically collates results from health-related research.

Rapid summaries save lives 

Vandvik offers as an example how RapidRecommendations quickly collated all studies on the use of catheter-based techniques for replacing damaged heart valves. The procedure is carried out via one of the patient’s blood vessels, sparing the patient the need for open heart surgery. Based on their summary of the research, RapidRecommendations developed and published credible recommendations that will change clinical practice.

This is an example of a case where we need to change clinical practice as quickly as possible because the new recommendations will save lives and prevent suffering.

Norway should be able to think innovatively and we hereby challenge Norwegian cardiologists and the relevant authorities to get the best information out into clinical practice. 
Per Olav Vandvik

– The question is whether Norwegian patients will be able to benefit from the new findings now or whether they will have to wait until next autumn when European cardiology guidelines are updated the old way, he concludes. 

Read about the review of catheter-based cardiac treatment in British Medical Journal

By Thomas Olafsen
Published Jan. 20, 2017 4:00 AM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2017 2:41 PM