Overcoming the Challenges of Using Automated Technologies for Public Health Evidence Synthesis

Article by Lucy Hocking et al: “Many organisations struggle to keep pace with public health evidence due to the volume of published literature and length of time it takes to conduct literature reviews. New technologies that help automate parts of the evidence synthesis process can help conduct reviews more quickly and efficiently to better provide up-to-date evidence for public health decision making. To date, automated approaches have seldom been used in public health due to significant barriers to their adoption. In this Perspective, we reflect on the findings of a study exploring experiences of adopting automated technologies to conduct evidence reviews within the public health sector. The study, funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, consisted of a literature review and qualitative data collection from public health organisations and researchers in the field. We specifically focus on outlining the challenges associated with the adoption of automated approaches and potential solutions and actions that can be taken to mitigate these. We explore these in relation to actions that can be taken by tool developers (e.g. improving tool performance and transparency), public health organisations (e.g. developing staff skills, encouraging collaboration) and funding bodies/the wider research system (e.g. researchers, funding bodies, academic publishers and scholarly journals)…(More)”

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