The increased reliance of health systems on the digital record as the primary mechanism for storing data on consultations and other health interactions has opened new opportunities for research, healthcare innovation, and health policy.
The electronic health record (eHR) is now ubiquitous in many countries, in hospital and primary care settings, and in some countries their health systems in terms of reporting patient care activity are essentially 'paperless'.
Health systems globally are also facing accelerating challenges as they seek to deliver better value healthcare against the background of increasing levels of chronic disease, ageing populations, financial pressures and demands on public spending. Digital health tools and services are held up to be part of the solution to these challenges, potentially offering low-cost and patient-centred solutions.
There has been huge investment in Big Data research in health, particularly in relation to digitised imaging and automated reporting and predictive modelling using phenotypic and increasingly genetic data. There have also been similar gains in more applied research that explores the potential of accessing the huge quantum of data held in the eHR, and linkage of these data to other national or regional databases, such as mortality records or cancer data. This session will explore some of the applications for routine data research, illustrated by projects that have resulted in research success and better healthcare.
This will include the exemplars of using large eHR platforms and prescribing data platforms to create infrastructure for i) common disease surveillance, such as the UK RCGP RSC; ii) generation and validation of disease risk assessment tools, such as QRisk scores; iii) pragmatic electronic follow up trials; iv) within practice systems dashboard feedback reports, eg data normalised to regional and national rates on prescribing and investigation physician activity; v) traditional epidemiological linkage studies; and vi) linkage to long term phenotypic follow up of established disease cohorts.
Richard Hobbs is Nuffield Professor of Primary Care at the University of Oxford, and Head of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. He has served a decade as National Director of the National Institute for Health Research’s School for Primary Care Research and was Director of the NHS Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Review panel from 2005-09. He has served many national and international scientific and research funding boards in UK, Ireland, Canada, and WHO, including the BHF Council, British Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, and the ESC Council for Cardiovascular Primary Care. He currently chairs the European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, a WONCA Special Interest Group.
He is one of the world's leading academics in primary care, and has developed at Oxford one of the largest and most highly ranked centres for academic primary care globally. He has also made major contributions to growing primary care academic capacity, in terms of people development and research networks. A highly cited primary care clinical scientist, he has authored over 450 peer reviewed publications, has an h-index of 90, with over 63000 citations (36000 since 2013) and 81 papers cited over 100 times, 14 papers cited over 1000 times and 7 papers with over 2000 citations. He has an outstanding track record in cardiovascular research, delivering trials that changed international guidelines and practice, especially in the areas of stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (BAFTA, SAFE, and SMART trials), heart failure burden and diagnosis (ECHOES and REFER trials), and hypertension self-management (TASMINH series). He is only the fifth ever recipient of the RCGP Discovery Prize in 2018 (an occasional award made since 1953) and received an inaugural Distinguished Researcher Shine Prize plus Best Presentation Prize at the WONCA World Congress in 2018. He was awarded a CBE for services to medical research in the 2018 New Year's Honours.
This talk was held as part of the Big Data Epidemiology course which is part of the Evidence-Based Health Care Programme.