Through the partnership with healthcare software provider EMIS, the OpenSAFELY platform has been integrated into EMIS-X Analytics to support secure analysis of the EMIS Web primary care records in England – enabling NHS England researchers based at the University of Oxford and the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine to now interrogate the GP records of 96% of the English population.
EMIS has worked closely with the OpenSAFELY team to create a secure, trusted research environment within its cloud-based EMIS-X Analytics suite to allow the records of all 4,000 practices to be searched as one. Researchers access the data under the COPI emergency data access legislation.
The first paper drawing on the enlarged database was published in the British Journal of General Practice this week. It found that GP recorded diagnoses of Long COVID are substantially lower than previous survey estimates and recommends steps to further investigate the finding, as more work is done to understand, diagnose and treat this still little understood condition.
Other research projects in this collaboration are investigating the uptake of the UK COVID vaccination programme, including detailed analysis of the regional and demographic coverage of the programme and the factors as to why people have declined to have the vaccine.
Dr Ben Goldacre, Director of the DataLab at the University of Oxford, who leads the OpenSAFELY project, said: “Today’s paper on the under-reporting of Long COVID in medical records is the first in a wave of research projects to benefit from the newly-extended OpenSAFELY platform."