evidence based medicine

Vita Brevis Ars Longa: Feeding Watson on Dubious Data

Will Feeding Watson $3 Billion Worth of Healthcare Payment Data Improve its Decisions?

This  recent blog post by Ross Koppel and Frank Meissner considers if IBM Watson can really ‘crack’ healthcare, even as it munches on its gourmet diet of $3Bn worth of so called ‘data’.

Their answer is a careful ‘maybe’ .. but they are not going to get you overexcited about instant transformation. […]

Worrying about data

An article in the Independent newspaper highlights some worries about NHS data. It might seem a good idea to make summary care records available to pharmacists – but what if your pharmacist is also a large retailer like Boots or Tesco, whose business is increasingly dependant upon data collection and targeted sales?

What is also worrying is that, as the article details, insufficient research […]

August 14th, 2015|Commentary|0 Comments|

Definitions: Efficacy, Effectiveness, Efficiency

Borrowing from
John Marley, Professor, Department of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide
Aust Prescr 2000;23:114-5

Efficacy –  can a treatment work?
As in a clinical trial, i.e. in ideal circumstance of a controlled trial population.

Effectiveness – ‘the extent to which a drug achieves its intended effect in the usual clinical setting’

Effectiveness “can be evaluated through observational studies of real practice”; local and […]

Event: Farr Institute – ABPI Industry Forum 2014, London 16 December 2014

The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research in conjunction with The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the UK Health Informatics Research Network will host the second Farr Institute Industry Forum at the Royal College of General Practitioners on 16th December 2014.


On the agenda:
Pragmatic trials and stratified medicine trials, with case studies presentations
How data based on real world […]

December 9th, 2014|Regulation, Research|0 Comments|

On medicines: for risk markers, not factors, for disease …

… to remember to explore further:

“So much of this ‘evidence’ is for drug treatment, especially comparing one drug against another. We now have enough research evidence that shows that many of the ‘things’ doctors advise (drug) treatment for, are but markers of an underlying problem. Sadly, these are mostly for the most common of problems – risk markers, not […]

August 7th, 2014|Medicines|0 Comments|