Welcome to Health Data Research UK – the national institute for health data science

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Have you ever wondered how Health Data Research UK unites UK health data to drive innovation and improve public health? Learn more about the health data science organization.

Explore the world of health data science, here Health Data Research exists as a not-for-profit organization supported by funding from 10 health entities, from the British Heart Foundation to the Economic Research Council and Social (ESRC). Combining the resources of 22 universities and research institutes across 6 UK regions, HDRUK connects health data scientists with the aim of merging UK health data and using it to improve health outcomes. .

This mission is important because by collecting and using this data, innovation can be pushed forward in the hope of gaining a better understanding of diseases and conditions, in order to improve prevention and treatment methods. . HDRUK argues that “the challenges to human health and health system sustainability are increasing globally. Heart disease, stroke and cancer still account for nearly two-thirds of all deaths worldwide. These diseases affect us deeply – they change the lives of those who have them and those who care for them. By making health data available to researchers, we can develop a better understanding of these diseases and ways to prevent, treat and cure them.

Why the UK?

According to HDRUK, the UK has some of the densest health data in the world, and thanks to the NHS it is possible to collect a wide variety of data from different populations and roll out nationwide improvements in the health system. whole institution. Given the research expertise across the UK, as well as the vibrant life sciences industry and talent within the NHS itself and universities, the UK is poised to advance long-term health outcomes, while simultaneously supporting the industry.

The HDRUK philosophy

HDRUK operates on strong principles and values ​​with the organization outlining them as follows:

  • We are transparent: we will share information, ideas and innovations in order to learn together faster;
  • We are optimistic: we believe we can make things better, we can do things differently, and we can overcome challenges to create a thriving new health data ecosystem that benefits patients and the public, the NHS, discoveries scientists and industry;
  • We are respectful: we achieve better results when we work in a truly interdisciplinary way. We listen to, share and respect a diversity of thoughts and opinions, perspectives and experiences. We are inclusive – leveraging and equitably allocating the expertise and capabilities of others, including patients, caregivers and members of the public;
  • We act with courage: we lead the way and will be willing to try new things, take risks, accept ambiguity and challenge the status quo. We will contribute opinions to shape the future of health data research;
  • We act with humility: we have much to learn from others; and aim to be open-minded about the gaps in our knowledge. We work diligently to find partners who can help bridge these gaps and value and respect their contribution.

Strategy for 2019/20

Since its inception in April 2018, HDRUK has already made substantial progress in rolling out processes to improve how the UK leverages and uses data, for example by developing joint grants with their funders, establishing initiatives with third parties, developing their staff and management team. , developing infrastructure and strengthening engagement with the public and other relevant bodies.

As for the remainder of 2019, ahead of 2020 and the next 5-20 years, the organization laid out its plans in a report released in April 2019 titled One Institute strategy. The paper details how HDRUK is working to create a “data innovation engine” for the NHS, universities and industry. In order to achieve its longer-term goals, the organization has set out its priorities for the next 5 years, targeting some of the most difficult issues currently facing the population:

  • Improve the discovery of new diseases and new treatments;
  • Improve the evaluation of safe, effective and affordable treatments for patients;
  • Improve the healthy life expectancy of people with a common disease;
  • Improving clinical innovations that improve the NHS and social care services;
  • Develop and apply advanced health data science to address key health challenges;
  • Create more than 10,000 health data scientists;
  • Create state-of-the-art data infrastructure and a UK-wide approach to secure data services; and
  • Earn public trust by engaging and involving people in all aspects of our research and innovation.

In terms of the more immediate term, the report outlines plans to drive innovation in the Human Phenome project, integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into big data and medicine, analyzing molecular data from patients and diverse to further investigate the root cause of disease, transforming clinical trials and finally the use of routine health data to influence future clinical decision making and decision making for the health system in his outfit.

The report emphasizes the importance of education and outlines plans to create 10,000 health data scientists by “identifying those with inquisitive minds, technological appetites and a desire to be at the forefront -keeping the patient care revolution. We will create a new type of program to meet the needs of 21st century health data science. »

With a simplified approach, HDRUK plans to focus on school leavers by offering apprenticeships and integrating data science training into MBChB curricula. Second, they highlighted their intention to fund one-year master’s degree programs for students in the life sciences or quantitative sciences to gain knowledge about the importance of health data science, move to developing postgraduate programs and supporting the career paths of those already working within the health space.

The references

  1. https://www.hdruk.ac.uk/about/
  2. https://www.hdruk.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/HDR-UK-One-Institute-Strategy-compressed-1.pdf

Please note that this article will appear in Issue 10 of Health Europa Quarterly, which is available to read now.

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Sean N. Ayres