Dr Ann van den Bruel, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
Director NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative Oxford
My research focuses on diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic tests help doctors to identify illnesses and other conditions so that patients may be treated or given a prognosis about the course of the illness. It is important to study the added value of tests because a better understanding leads to more efficient healthcare and better outcomes for patients.
Over the past years, I have worked mainly on the diagnosis of serious infections in children. More precisely I conducted a large-scale study in primary care to analyse the value of clinical features for this diagnosis. In addition, we looked at how laboratory tests can help with this diagnosis, and how parents and doctors view the diagnostic process when a child is admitted to hospital with a serious infection. The results of these studies have been used in several guidelines including one on feverish children by NICE.
More generally, I have collaborated with colleagues in other studies on diagnostic tests, such as clinial features in patients with chest pain, ultrasound for patients with shoulder problems, exercise testing to identify coronary disease, etc.
Currently I am the Director of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative Oxford which aims to facilitate diagnostic innovations in the NHS. We offer training and advice for anyone who is developing a new diagnostic test for primary care.
In addition to research, I'm also involved in teaching for the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and other institutions across Europe.