The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has expressed an intention to create a new centre for data science that would provide the resources required to improve understanding of heart and circulatory disease and position the UK as a global leader in the field, in collaboration with Health Data Research UK (HDR UK).
The BHF says the new centre will forge partnerships with key NHS stakeholders, including NHS Digital, and work with research organisations across biology, biomedicine, data science, analytics and AI, among others, through the national institute.
“The UK is blessed with many world-class heart and circulatory disease researchers, spanning a wide range of disciplines. But, as we enter the era of digital medicine, there’s a growing need to foster excellence in data science,” said Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, BHF Medical Director.
The centre will align with HDR UK’s £37.5m Digital Innovation Hubs initiative driving efforts to unlock the value of health data resources across the UK, complementing the work of the Local Health and Care Record Exemplars and NHS Digital’s plans to create a Data Services Platform.
HDR UK says it will appoint a convenor to guide scientific and stakeholder discussions and inform a proposal that will be considered for funding by the BHF in 2019, with several workshops expected to be organised later this year.
The application pack reveals the convenor will ‘contribute to the strategic development of a vision and model to lever the unique cardiovascular ‘big data’ opportunities within UK cardiovascular national registries, with linked electronic health records (EHR), for high impact cardiovascular outcomes’.
Professor Andrew Morris, HDR UK Director, said:
“This centre has the opportunity to revolutionise what we know about heart and cardiovascular disease.
“Using cutting-edge data science techniques, strong public engagement and some of the best cardiovascular health data sets in the world, it will provide a solid foundation for some of the most formative research for decades to come.”