Our take on the Clinical Practice Research Database

 

We secured EMC’s Bill McCluggage’s views in response to the Government’s announcement that, from September, anonymous record-sharing goes live to drug company and researchers through the Clinical Practice Research Database:

“We welcome the Government’s drive to encourage access to cradle-to-grave health records of around 52 million people in England through the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. This is a hugely important step towards a preventative healthcare model, keeping people out of hospital instead of just treating them when they’re there. This has the potential to deliver billions in savings for the Department of Health, which currently spends 75% of its patient care budget on chronic care.

“This announcement reinforces the opportunity for big data analytics in the public sector, an area Policy Exchange found could save up to £30 billion in a year. We need to urgently engage in the privacy debate and draw it to a meaningful and satisfactory conclusion as the benefits could provide the vital insight we need to transform healthcare in the UK.

“However, it is one thing to release such an in-depth data set, and another to stimulate effective use. In Scotland, we’ve starting to see the positive impact a stratified healthcare approach pathways can have – with anonymised patient data informing a quicker diagnosis, better treatment and more effective cure – and this is just the tip of the iceberg for big data analytics for healthcare. Long term chronic disease indicators could be cross-correlated with genetic information and used to deliver treatments to at-risk patients pre-emptively: it could make the difference between extended life and long-drawn out medical treatment. Analysts and companies need to step up to the mark to actively make use of the reservoir of data, using this insight to enhance our ability to cross-correlate with a wider range of disparate data sets, transforming the UK healthcare system.”

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