HDR UK Announce Seven New Data Hubs to Give Patients Faster Access to Treatments

Posted on: 17/10/2019

Health Data Research Hubs will be rolled out the UK to enable cutting-edge research for health discoveries that support quicker diagnoses.

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) have announced that seven research data hubs will be set up across the UK this month to enable research for health discoveries, speeding up access to pioneering treatments for patients. This will be achieved through research at these hubs into new medicines, treatments and technologies that support quicker diagnoses and ultimately save lives.


The hubs will analyse health data from their existing locations in partnership with the NHS, ensuring data is kept safe and secure simultaneously. Decisions about how the data is used will be made through consultation with patients and the public alike and strict controls around data privacy and consent will be maintained. In turn the hubs aim to improve the lives of people with debilitating conditions; potential benefits to patients include earlier diagnosis of disease, developing effective treatments and a more efficient management of the health service overall.


The seven hubs include:

  • A cancer hub¬†that aims to transform how cancer data from across the UK can be used to improve patient care, diagnose the disease earlier, and enable people to access innovative new medicines, potentially contributing to saving the lives of 30,000 cancer patients a year;
  • An eye health hub¬†that will use data and advanced analytics, including artificial intelligence, to develop new insights in eye disease and how this applies to wider health such as dementia and diabetes;
  • An inflammatory bowel disease¬†hub¬†that will use data to address the urgent need to better understand why patients with Crohn‚Äôs Disease and Ulcerative Colitis respond differently to treatments;
  • An acute care¬†hub¬†that will use data from community health, the ambulance service and hospitals to enable innovative healthcare companies to develop, test and deliver advances in clinical care;
  • A clinical trials hub¬†to increase opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials
  • A respiratory hub¬†that aims to improve the lives of people with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • A hub that aims to use real world data¬†to improve understanding of many long-term conditions, starting with Type 2 Diabetes, finding new life saving treatments by using advanced technologies and artificial intelligence, and even preventing them altogether.


Patients, researchers and clinicians will work together to explore the safe and ethical use of health data for research into specific diseases including cancer, Crohn’s disease and asthma.  They will also enable access to data for trialling new treatments and support improvements in clinical care.


The Health Data Research Hubs are part of a four-year £37million investment from the UK Government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) announced in November 2017 led by UK Research and Innovation, to create a UK-wide system for the safe and responsible use of health-related data on a large scale.  The hubs will also stimulate further economic growth through greater research activity. Over 100 organisations from the NHS and universities to charities and technology and pharmaceutical companies across the UK are involved in the hubs.


You can read the full press release here.

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