IDEAL is a descriptive framework for the stages of surgical innovation.
Because surgery is procedure-based, it presents challenges to gathering, reporting, and applying sound evidence that are not seen in medicine. These challenges are faced by everyone involved in producing and using evidence: researchers, journal editors, clinicians, device manufacturers, and regulators.
What are the stages of surgical innovation as described by IDEAL?
First, there is an Idea or Innovation, which then undergoes Development and Exploration, and subsequently Assessment and Long-term Studies). Within this framework are recommendations at each stage for methodology, reporting, and, where applicable, regulation.
For a brief explanation of each stage and the recommendations for producing evidence at each stage, see below.