Unprecedented volumes of data are being generated through patient records, population studies, clinical trials, imaging and large-scale biological studies such as genomics. Use of these data enables research on a scale not previously possible, leading to transformational advances in medicine and public health.
Health and biomedical informatics
Analysing and linking health related data enables research on a scale, speed and costs that is not possible using alternative methods. Benefits of using large patient and population datasets include development of more effective diagnostics and treatments, identification of public health risks, insights into causes of disease and improvements in health services.
The MRC, in partnership with nine other government departments, research councils and charities, have committed over £90m in several initiatives that are aimed at supporting informatics research, infrastructure and scientists. Our ultimate aim is to build a sustainable capability in health and biomedical informatics in the UK.
Details on how we secure public confidence in medical research, in particular in relation to consent and the confidentiality of personal information.
Patients’ medical records hold valuable information that could help save and improve the lives of others. By allowing researchers access to the information contained within medical records, patients contribute towards understanding the causes of disease, developing new and better medicines and identifying new public health risks such as outbreaks of infection.