The International Network for Evaluating Outcomes (iNeo) of neonates: evolution, progress and opportunities
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Neonates born very preterm (before 32 weeks' gestational age), are a significant public health concern because of their high-risk of mortality and life-long disability. In addition, caring for very preterm neonates can be expensive, both during their initial hospitalization and their long-term cost of permanent impairments. To address these issues, national and regional neonatal networks around the world collect and analyse data from their constituents to identify trends in outcomes, and conduct benchmarking, audit and research. Improving neonatal outcomes and reducing health care costs is a global problem that can be addressed using collaborative approaches to assess practice variation between countries, conduct research and implement evidence-based practices. The International Network for Evaluating Outcomes (iNeo) of neonates was established in 2013 with the goal of improving outcomes for very preterm neonates through international collaboration and comparisons. To date, 10 national or regional population-based neonatal networks/datasets participate in iNeo collaboration. The initiative now includes data on >200,000 very preterm neonates and has conducted important epidemiological studies evaluating outcomes, variations and trends. The collaboration has also surveyed >320 neonatal units worldwide to learn about variations in practices, healthcare service delivery, and physical, environmental and manpower related factors and support services for parents. The iNeo collaboration serves as a strong international platform for Neonatal-Perinatal health services research that facilitates international data sharing, capacity building, and global efforts to improve very preterm neonate care.