Epistemonikos: All you need is L·OVE
Posted on 2nd June 2023 by Lorena Díaz-Hemard, Mayara Rodrigues Batista, Giovanna Melanie Zavadzki Albuquerque
This is the final blog in a series of three, highlighting some important resources from the Epistemonikos Foundation. The first blog provided an introduction to ‘Epistemonikos: the world’s largest repository of healthcare systematic reviews‘, and the second blog looked at ‘How to use the Epistemonikos database‘.
L·OVE stands for ‘Living OVerview of Evidence’ and is the first platform that maps the best evidence relevant for making health decisions as soon as it becomes available. L·OVE includes both a repository and a classification platform, meaning that it also organizes the evidence to facilitate its uptake by decision makers and organizations.
The Epistemonikos Foundation launched L·OVE in 2016. Experts from Epistemonikos assembled a map of PICO-formatted questions relevant for health decision-making that allows the platform to organize all the systematic reviews in what are called ‘L·OVEs’ by topic, condition or problem. As it is a ‘living’ system, it is updated by a network of collaborators supported by artificial intelligence algorithms that capture and validate the information as soon as it is made available.
When using L·OVE, users can save their questions and subscribe to email notifications of new evidence for their specific search.
Together with the development of platforms and tools to support the process of evidence synthesis for health decision-making, the Epistemonikos Foundation works in the making of different types of evidence syntheses, i.e. systematic reviews, clinical practice guidelines and overviews of reviews. The team of Epistemonikos’ methodologists uses L·OVE for the identification of the evidence, screening of studies and quality assessment*. L·OVE has allowed us to save time and resources, making evidence synthesis more efficient and sustainable.
*For now, these features are for internal use only.
COVID-19: a very special L·OVE
After the pandemic was declared, the Epistemonikos Foundation started working on a L·OVE for the topic ‘COVID-19’. In June 2020 we launched the COVID-19 L·OVE with the intention of contributing to inform decisions with the most current and easily accessible evidence available.
The COVID-19 L·OVE has been incorporated into a diverse range of projects for the elaboration of living systematic reviews, living evidence repositories, clinical recommendations and guidelines. Not only our team , but other evidence synthesis groups that have used the platform praise its currency, comprehensiveness and sensitivity [2,3].
The amount of evidence generated during the pandemic has broken all records. To date, the COVID-19 L·OVE contains more than 337,000 articles, between systematic reviews, broad synthesis and primary studies (Figure 1). In the last two years, several clinical trials have been carried out to test the efficacy or harm of various drugs and treatments for COVID-19. For a layperson it is impossible to analyze such a volume of information, that is also presented in technical unfamiliar terms. With the aim of reaching the non-specialized population, we collaborated with Salud con Lupa in the production of a special reporting project in plain language about the 47 most commonly used COVID-19 treatments, called Scientifically Proven. Since its launch in September 2020, we periodically update the platform as new relevant evidence enters the COVID-19 L·OVE.
Figure 1. Classification workflow of the COVID-19 L·OVE with updated results up to November 2022. In-detail methodology is described here.
The COVID-19 L·OVE is also the main evidence source for the weekly update of the Pan American Health Organization’s board ‘Pharmacovigilance for COVID-19 vaccines’. This platform was designed to aid clinical workers and health decision makers by centralizing all of the evidence that is relevant for quick and safe decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Every week, the team of Epistemonikos’ methodologists screens almost 150 studies to update the 11 sections and 9 subsections of the board.
The account a user creates in the Epistemonikos database allows them to log in to any of the platforms and tools developed by the Epistemonikos Foundation, including L·OVE.
How to reference our text: Díaz-Hemard L, Batista MR, Albuquerque GMZ. All you need is L·OVE. Students 4 best evidence (S4BE) Cochrane. Available in: [paste the link]. Accessed on:[insert day, month and year].