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The keys to helping patients, on the GP's computer
Date:1/11/2012

This release is available in Spanish.

Let us assume that a patient goes to see his or her GP. The GP is not sure what is wrong, and notes down on the computer the patient's details, medical history and symptoms. After some questions have been answered, the screen shows what the disease could be, what the treatment involves and indicates that the patient needs to see such-and-such a specialist. Today this is utopia, but the Erabaki research team is trying to turn it into reality. The team comprises nine researchers from the University of the Basque Country's (UPV/EHU) Faculty of Computing and four physicians from three of the Basque Country's hospitals: Cruces, Donostia-San Sebastian and Basurto. Professionals from both disciplines are needed to achieve the aim: to democratise the knowledge contained in clinical guidelines.

Clinical guidelines are documents indicating the steps needed for treating a disease. Juan Manuel Pikatza, head of the research team, explains that the knowledge they contain is of high quality. "But the problem is that this knowledge tends to be transmitted on paper. So, how are all those professionals who are at the end of the chain and who are not specialists (i.e. GPs) going to read all those guidelines? They have neither the time nor the capacity to assimilate all the contents." So at Erabaki they have set up a technological platform to simplify the knowledge and not lose it. "We have to get the best practices in the clinical guidelines executed on computer, and turn the process unto a rapid one."

An editor designed to facilitate comprehension

First of all, the computer programmers and the specialist doctors who participate as suppliers of the content of the platform need to understand each other. In other words, when it comes to inputting the clinical guidelines into the programme, the computer prog
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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