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British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS)


Background and objectives

The prevention of osteoporotic fractures is a global problem. Key to this strategy is efficient identification of ‘at risk’ patients in order to address the osteoporosis pandemic, including the identification of previously sustained fractures. GP practices are now integrating touch screens as a method of registering patients' attendance for an appointment, so all ages of patients are becoming familiar with this channel of communication. Our touch screen patient administered questionnaire system intends to provide an effective solution.


The Virtual Research Integration Collaboration (VRIC) framework supports the integration of basic science and clinical research. It enables the management of research lifecycles by integrating scientific approaches with everyday work practice in a virtual research environment (VRE). ‘Catch Before a Fall’ (CBaF) is a clinical research project using VRIC, using a dedicated interface, co-designed by orthopaedic surgeons and basic scientists, adapted for sensory and IT impaired subjects to capture such information, since approximately 75% of registered over 65 year olds visit their GP each year.


Established in test sites across the UK, Data analysis is conducted via the VRIC ‘on-line’ portal. The conclusion of the research process is followed up within that tool. Using the validated osteoporosis risk questionnaire augmented by self reporting of height loss to identify missed vertebral fractures, we calculate the patients' risk factor of developing osteoporosis and of having an osteoporosis related fracture within the next 10 years. Patients' data are collected through CBaF (figure 1) and stored in data structures matching the VRIC architecture for automatic importing via a dedicated script and offering direct clinical service provider feedback.


Patients recollect a previous fracture including other risk factors, so we are automating the secure data collection process to improve efficiency and save resources. We should see a ‘win’ for the patient who will receive better informed care. CBaF supports the practice who will streamline their pathway for effective osteoporosis management. The insight into personalised care management is a pathfinder, demonstrating improvement of services for our community, should reduce the greater silent population of osteoporosis sufferers worldwide, addressing the acute service burden ‘at source’.