Growing body of knowledge: The starting point

One question is at the forefront of all our work: What would patients, those close to them, and other people interested in health topics like to know about diseases and other health issues? Evidence-based medicine (EBM) provides the foundation of our work. This is medicine that is based on objective scientific , not on personal views or beliefs.

New medical therapies are constantly being developed. Hundreds of thousands of patients take part in clinical studies every year. Medical knowledge is growing so fast that individual healthcare professionals can't keep up-to-date anymore.

This is why researchers are working on solutions to summarize current medical knowledge and put it into a more “user-friendly” format. One way of doing this is by publishing systematic reviews – one of the most important tools in evidence-based medicine.

We at Informed Health make the latest medical knowledge available to everyone. When preparing a topic, we search for current reviews in the main medical databases. We also keep up with things like drug safety warnings issued by health authorities.

In our work we focus on the needs of consumers. We talk to self-help groups, patient information centers and patient representatives to find out which topics are especially important to those affected. And we take into account scientific studies on the information needs of the general public.

We can also be commissioned by the German Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) or the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) to compile health information about a particular medical condition. And we produce easy-to-understand summaries of scientific reports published by IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Germany).

German Network for Evidence-based medicine. Gute Praxis Gesundheitsinformation. Berlin: 2015.

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). General methods. Version 5.0. Cologne: IQWiG; 2017.

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health care services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual case can be determined by talking to a doctor. informedhealth.org can provide support for talks with doctors and other medical professionals, but cannot replace them. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a team of health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in our methods.

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Please note that we do not provide individual advice on matters of health. You can read about where to find help and support in Germany in our information “How can I find self-help groups and information centers?

Updated on January 16, 2020
Next planned update: 2023

Authors/Publishers:

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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