The advent of the digital revolution has contributed to the unprecedented wealth of scientific information currently produced in the biomedical field, providing avenues for the development of novel treatments, improved understanding of disease processes and their associated risk factors, as well as the formulation of effective prevention methods at the individual, community, and societal level. 

However, the accumulation of data, and the speed with which new data are generated, often results in the eclipse of relevant information of great value to the biomedical field.1

During the past decade, the foregoing observations emphasized the importance of identifying methods through which knowledge transfer between the scientific research community and physicians, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders is optimized to inform decisions about overall health, health care, and health policy.2 

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The term ”knowledge transfer” has been described as the process of exchanging and distributing knowledge in an organized and accessible manner, wherein ”knowledge transfer” acts as a necessary, although insufficient, component of successful ”knowledge translation” – more specifically, the successful dissemination of biomedical research into the clinical cognizance and the implementation of this knowledge to improve patient health outcomes.1, 3 

Currently, 3 main sources for the transfer of specific biomedical information exist: medical journals, continuing medical education, and pharmaceutical representatives.1 However, these traditional forms of media are proving incapable of meeting the requirements of modern developments in knowledge creation, sharing, and capture.4

Consequently, investments in research endeavors are limited by the ineffectual communication of scientific knowledge and the gap between what is known about disparate health conditions and what is done to prevent and/or treat them.

This gap in the successful translation of knowledge from bench to bedside is consistently reported in clinical and health service research, indicating that the significant lag between advances in biomedical research and the elimination of preventable risks and iatrogenic complications divest patients of optimal treatment while simultaneously contributing to unnecessary healthcare system expenditures.1-3 

Taken together, the scientific community’s clarion call for an effective means of navigating the mounting biomedical research that eliminates the constraints of integrating novel research findings into clinical practice requires the following: 1) targeted dissemination of relevant content to intended audiences; 2) exposure to contemporary research and their latest developments; 3) eliminating the time required to identify relevant research content; and 4) increasing the likelihood of content translation and accessibility to the general public.1-3

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor