Research has been an important arm of our business for many years, and we’re invested in working with major research partners to enable better care and improved population health.
We understand the value and importance of data insight, and our decades of experience means we’re adept at handling data in a safe and ethical way. Through EMIS-X Analytics, we’re supporting the next generation of research, with improved technology enabling the speed and security of data access to push research further.
Not only do we provide data when it comes to academic research, but we also support research into clinical practice by creating decision support tools. Take for example our support with the AURAS study at Oxford and the study into effective prescribing of antidepressants at King’s College London. We built concepts and protocols into our clinical system to conduct research into GP prescribing behaviours.
Supporting large scale academic research since 2003
In 2003, we cofounded QResearch; a consolidated database of anonymised health records from over 35 million patients in England via EMIS Web. Incorporating historical patient records extending back to 1989, QResearch is one of the largest and richest general practice databases in the world. Working in collaboration with the University of Oxford, QResearch data has been used in more than 300 academic research studies, and findings have resulted in the development of clinical tools such as QRISK2, a cardiovascular disease risk calculator recommended by NICE.
Our long established relationship with the University of Oxford has continued to grow over the years. In the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we united with the Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre (Oxford RCGP RSC), appealing to primary care practices to share their data safely and securely for further research into the virus. More than 1,700 practices came forward to take part in contributing data, enabling important research on COVID-19 risk factors, some of which has already been published.
These same practices are also now helping to recruit patients to a clinical trial, aiming to find treatments for COVID-19 to speed recovery and prevent hospitalisation. This clinical trial is assessing the effectiveness of existing medications in the treatment of the virus, and is one of a number of trials supported by the Chief Medical Officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the NHS Medical Director.
Using our Patient Access app, we were also able to roll out a survey to willing participants to collect data for a further study with the University of Oxford on COVID-19. Those with symptoms of the virus were encouraged to track how they were feeling over a number of weeks, resulting in a unique database of anonymised information. Researchers were then able to analyse this data using Explorer to conduct an academic study on the socio-economic effects of the virus.
Supporting observational, long-term clinical research
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)
CPRD is a research service consisting of one of the largest and richest general practice databases in the world for observational, longitudinal research. Anonymised patient data is provided from a wide network of GP practices across the UK, 1,500 of which contribute 35 million anonymised patient records via EMIS Web. This data has been used in a wide number of research studies and has informed clinical guidance and best practice, resulting in over 2,600 peer-reviewed publications.
Global healthcare research for public good
Established by a number of organisations, including the Department of Health, UK Biobank is a major national and international health resource. Between 2006 and 2010, UK Biobank recruited half a million volunteer participants aged between 40-69, who provided detailed personal information along with medical samples such as blood, urine and salvia, and agreed to have their health followed. We provided around 240,000 volunteer patient records to inform this research. This database is allowing scientists to conduct research into a range of serious illnesses, with the goal of improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Enabling patient access into clinical studies
AppScript by IQVIA
Through our partner IQVIA, we’re enabling clinicians to recommend a patient that may be suitable for a clinical trial or research study during a consultation. With inbuilt tools within EMIS Web, clinicians are notified when a patient may be eligible to take part in a study. If the patient is willing to take part, the clinician can then link them to an app provided through the EMIS App Library which the patient can use to easily input data. The proof of concept for this research began in 2018 with a study on back pain, in partnership with the UK’s National Institute for Healthcare Research (NIHR) and uMotif, the leading patient data capture platform.