Faster diagnosis and help for stroke victims

The Federal Government is providing $1.5 million to ensure doctors have the latest research and information on treating stroke at their fingertips.


Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest causes of mortality, killing more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer, and is a leading cause of disability.


Every nine minutes an Australian experiences a stroke, with 56,000 strokes occurring in 2017.


The availability of the latest living guidelines will help clinicians base their treatment decisions on the most up-to-date information and research.


Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said that most clinical guidelines are currently in paper form but the funding will allow Stroke Foundation and Cochrane Australia to provide health professionals with the latest clinical guidelines and real-time research findings via an app.


The app will be accessible to clinicians on tablet, phone and desktop. It will allow doctors to treat patients with the most up-to-date breakthroughs.


Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the Living Guidelines for Stroke Management pilot would deliver a near real-time, closed-loop evidence system in which global evidence and local data are continually integrated with clinical expertise.


“Current systems for translating stroke research into improved clinical practice and health outcomes for Australians are slow, resource heavy and expensive. The Living Guidelines for Stroke Management mark a new era in the ability to support health services.”


Associate Professor Julian Elliott, Global Lead of Evidence Systems for Cochrane and Senior Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia, said learnings from Living Guidelines for Stroke Management will be an important demonstration of how advances in technology and collaboration can change the way research is translated into clinical practice  - not just for stroke but for a range of other serious health conditions.


“More than 75 trials are published every day, and with ongoing exponential growth in research it’s almost impossible for anyone to keep up’’ A/Prof Elliott said.


“The Living Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management will draw on latest evidence synthesis technologies developed by Cochrane and partners, including artificial intelligence, the Cochrane Crowd citizen science community, and world-leading software platforms (Covidence and MAGICapp).


10 August 2018.