EMIS launches first EMIS-X application

15 Oct 2020

EMIS has launched the first application on its next generation, cloud-based EMIS-X platform.

Explorer is the first product to be made available to customers from the new EMIS-X Analytics suite – a set of powerful analytics tools that enable the interrogation of large healthcare datasets at speed.

Developed in response to customer demand for quicker, deeper data insights at a whole population level, EMIS-X Analytics offers exciting potential to improve healthcare services and support public health research.

Early adopters of the Explorer product include researchers at the University of Oxford, who are using it for live surveillance into more than 50,000 patient-reported experiences of COVID-19.

Live surveillance of patients’ COVID-19 experiences

The anonymised data has been collated from an ongoing patient questionnaire on the widely-used Patient Access app and website.

Jointly developed by EMIS in collaboration with the Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners Research & Surveillance Centre (Oxford RCGP RSC), the questionnaire started as a way to improve our understanding of the direct health impacts of COVID-19 on the individual during the early, unchartered stage of the pandemic.

It has subsequently been expanded to incorporate wider issues such as mental health, access to and use of healthcare services and the socioeconomic impact of the virus, with a particular focus on employment.

The patient survey was created by Dr Ian Wood and Dr Sarah Jarvis, both practising GPs and clinical directors at EMIS, in collaboration with the academic partners. More than 50,000 people have completed the questionnaire since it was launched in April.

Dr Ian Wood said: “The really crucial part is that this is patient-reported data. There are limitations to the way in which we as clinicians record data into electronic healthcare record systems. Although we record items like medications, investigations and major health events very well, we are less able to capture in a standardised way, metrics such as subtle differences in symptoms, recovery periods or the wider direct and indirect economic impact on a patient’s employment and finances.

“We are now capturing all of this data through this patient survey. It’s a new and richer set of data ready and waiting to be explored.”

Caterina Alacevich, a researcher in Economics and Health at the University of Oxford, said: “EMIS-X Analytics provides us with a continuous surveillance tool to analyse data from this valuable new patient survey, which is supplemented daily as a result of the ongoing engagement with participating Patient Access users.

“It’s amazing to have this data flowing into our research on a continuous basis like this. This isn’t something that usually happens in standard research settings.”

Caterina Alacevich, researcher in Economics and Health at the University of Oxford

“Everything in this pandemic is new, and this new way of accessing data will open pathways to more research being done this way in the future”.

Dr Sarah Jarvis said: “While it may appear that we have lived with COVID-19 for a long time, it is in fact still a very new disease and there is an urgent need to know more about it.”

“Knowledge of the ongoing impact of the condition on a large scale will be invaluable in informing our decisions and treatments, to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the wider population.”

Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical director, Patient

New data analytics tools

Alex Eavis, director of EMIS-X Analytics at EMIS, said: “EMIS has a long and proud heritage of using data analytics to improve public health and these new tools allow us to continue this work in a richer way on a greater scale.

“With the EMIS-X Analytics suite, our customers can gain deeper and quicker insights from multiple datasets – not just those held within our own systems – bringing the potential to drive further improvements in both healthcare services and the wider health of the nation.”


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