Implementation of Systematic Review Software Tools in IRIS
Currently, the number of chemicals present in the environment exceeds the ability of public health scientists to efficiently screen the available data in order to produce well-informed human health risk assessments in a timely manner. For this reason, the US EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program has started implementing new software tools into the hazard characterization workflow. These automated tools aid in multiple phases of the systematic review process including scoping and problem formulation, literature search, and identification and screening of available published studies. The increased availability of these tools lays the foundation for automating or semi-automating multiple phases of the systematic review process. Some of these software tools include modules to facilitate a structured approach to study quality evaluation of human and animal data, although approaches are generally lacking for assessing complex mechanistic information, in particular “omics”-based evidence tools are starting to become available to evaluate these types of studies. We will highlight how new software programs, online tools, and approaches for assessing study quality can be better integrated to allow for a more efficient and transparent workflow of the risk assessment process as well as identify tool gaps that would benefit future risk assessments.
Disclaimer:The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.