By Dr Ana Luisa Neves, Research Fellow at the Imperial NIHR Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.
Over the last decade, incentives to adopt electronic health records have spread worldwide. Electronic health records offer many advantages, including an easier access to centralised health information by healthcare providers, patients and researchers, ultimately leading to a better coordination of patient care, greater efficiency, and better health outcomes.
The drive towards digital data
Significant progress towards the development and adoption of electronic health records has now been seen in a number of countries including Australia, Estonia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Initially, care organisations had exclusive access to the data, which was primarily shared with other healthcare professionals for a person’s care.
By Rachel Dunscombe, CEO, NHS Digital Academy
Standing in the Royal Society on the 16th of April waiting for the participants to arrive was both surreal and exciting. Surreal because of the rapid journey our wonderful team had taken to make the programme happen – this had become a reality so quickly. Exciting because I couldn’t wait to get started – this programme is important for the system and for me something I am hugely committed to.
The Digital Academy operational team, of which I am a part, are all keen to ensure that this programme is as grounded in digital leaders’ practice as much as possible rather than being too high end academic.
By Sabine Vuik, Policy Fellow and Head of Analytics, Centre for Health Policy, Institute of Global Health Innovation
Big data and advanced data mining methods are becoming a crucial element of everyday life, business and research. The new insights that these methods can provide have allowed many different industries to find new opportunities, products and markets.
The new EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare which will launch on Wednesday 23rd November, aims to bring these methods into healthcare.
Precision Healthcare uses big data and mathematics to provide unprecedented insights into individual and population health. The Centre will link up mathematical, computational and medical departments from Imperial, to bridge traditional silos and drive innovation in this area.
By Dr John O’Donoghue, Senior Lecturer in eHealth & Deputy Director of Imperial’s Global eHealth Unit
The last week has been very busy in Mzuzu, northern Malawi. Scientists there have been packing blood and urine samples collected from 506 children with pneumonia in preparation for shipment to Dublin, Ireland. These samples will travel 12,000km at -80oC with constant monitoring of their temperature and dry ice being packed around them at stops along the journey to ensure they remain frozen in the warm heat of Africa as they travel across the African and European continents.
Over the past twelve months the researchers from the gHealth Research group based in University College Dublin, Queens University Belfast & Imperial College London have been working with colleagues in Malawi to collect these samples.