QRisk2 now available as open source software

17 May 2010

The University of Nottingham and leading healthcare systems supplier EMIS have made the QRisk2 formula for identifying heart disease risk available as open source software.

The University of Nottingham and leading healthcare systems supplier EMIS have made the QRisk2® formula for identifying heart disease risk available as open source software.

It means that ALL users, from academics to primary care trusts (PCTs) to commercial health software suppliers, will be able to develop software using QRisk2 free of charge.

The move follows a new independent evaluation of QRisk2® by researchers at the University of Oxford, which found it was more accurate than the Framingham risk assessment tool at predicting cardiovascular risk in the UK population. 

Dr Gary Collins, senior medical statistician at the University of Oxford, concluded: ‘We have assessed the performance of QRisk2 against the NICE version of the Framingham equation and have provided evidence to support the use of QRisk2 in favour of the NICE Framingham equation.”

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox of the University of Nottingham’s Division of Primary Care and medical director of ClinRisk Ltd, the company behind the QRisk2 software, said: “We are very pleased that code implementing the QRisk2 algorithm is now available, under the open source model, free of charge to all.

“QRisk2 is more accurate for our ethnically diverse UK population”

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox

“QRisk2 has the potential to save many thousands of lives from heart disease – the nation’s biggest killer. It will arm users with all the information they need to decide how best to target patients at risk.”

Dr David Stables, EMIS director of strategic development and co-founder of QResearch® - the clinical database that was used to develop QRisk2 - said: “EMIS is delighted that QRisk2 is now available as open source software.

“In addition to being implemented within EMIS systems – covering 52 per cent of all UK GP practices – QRisk2 has now been adopted by almost all the other GP system suppliers, many PCTs and pharmacies and a number of hospitals. This latest move will open it up to even more users – which can only be of huge benefit to the nation’s health.”

In March 2010, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) updated its guidance to give clinicians free choice of the most appropriate cardiovascular disease risk assessment tool – including QRisk2. NICE withdrew its recommendation to clinicians to use the Framingham risk assessment tool, but stopped short of recommending QRisk2 in its place.