MEI Conference: Digital assistants help physicians with their research

27. September 2018

For staying up-to-date, physicians have to go through diverse professional publications. At the MEI conference in Leeds, people discuss how to facilitate digital research. The Know-Center experts Melanie Mayr and Sebastian Dennerlein are there to share their insights.

The possibilities of modern medicine are tremendous and they keep on increasing every day. Diseases like Hepatitis C, a former therapeutic nightmare, are becoming trivial. Bionic prostheses are controlled by sheer thought-power and surgical robots serve as high-precision assistants during surgeries.

The reason for this phenomenon and the consequences: each day there are hundreds or even thousands of new medical professional articles printed or published worldwide – including new insights regarding reasons, treatments and cures for diseases. That means a lot of reading for practicing doctors and for medical scientists, in order to keep up with their field of interest. And they have to keep up with it.

Physicians don’t just examine their patients. To keep up with the current scientific knowledge, it is indispensable to read professional publications.

At least the time-consuming research for professional publications can be simplified significantly. How this is made possible, will be discussed within a workshop entitled “Re-thinking literature search in the information rich health care system: Exploring and designing appropriate practices for healthcare professionals”, which will be part of the MEI 2018 Conference (September 6th to 7th, in Leeds). This workshop will be presented by the Know-Center experts Melanie Mayr and Sebastian Dennerlein.

 

med360 – the digital assistant for physicians

Innovative ways to simplify the research are digital assistants like the tool med360, which was developed by the Know-Center. How does it work? The software collects and bundles up scientific publications – perfectly arranged in regards to the user’s fields of interest. “med360 delivers important publications to the electronic mailbox and helps to compile a personalized digital library”, says Melanie Mayr.

 

The digital librarian also works as a communications tool, so users can share their own publications via social networks like Facebook and Twitter with their colleagues, but can also recommend publications via email. Keyword: knowledge transfer. Concerning the goals of the workshop, Mayr says: “First of all, we want to figure out, how scientists want to do their research in the future and also, which tools are already in use and which features they are lacking.”

The workshop is held in the shape of a barcamp – an open event, where the course and the topics are determined mostly by the participants. “The reason for that”, Mayr explains, “is that we want to encourage the practicing doctors to share their personal experiences so everyone could be included in the discussion concerning important topics, research methods and tools in use. In the end after all, the goal is, finding solutions together.”

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