8 April, 2009
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has approved an investment of almost £5 million for the development of a groundbreaking new project to support the Northwest’s biohealth sector and the public’s health.
Northwest e-Health will create new information technology and services for developing healthcare from advanced analysis of anonymised health records.
This project brings together the e-Lab technology developed at the University of Manchester with innovations in community-wide healthcare records led by Salford Primary Care Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
The Northwest e-Health team represents a world-leading combination of health professionals, computer scientists, software engineers, statisticians, and health scientists providing ‘sense-making’ tools for next-generation healthcare.
The Northwest e-Health e-Lab will enable NHS professionals and researchers to gain new insights into how individual treatments or whole services are working. The e-Lab will use only anonymised patient records and operate in very secure settings, thereby protecting the privacy of individual patients.
The e-Lab infrastructure will enhance the running of the NHS in any local community that joins the consortium, which is anticipated to cover a population of over two million by 2013. The following aspects of healthcare will be enhanced: safety monitoring; service planning; running clinical trials; research into the local effectiveness of treatments; and taking public health measures that best fit the local community.
Mark Hughes, Executive Director of Economic Development, said: “The Northwest is uniquely well placed in terms of computer science and health informatics expertise and is believed to be more than a year ahead of other regions of the UK in this work. This project will create advantages for businesses who need to carry out clinical trials as part of product development by reducing the time and costs involved. It will also help to speed up the time it takes drugs to reach the market, so it will be of significant benefit to the region’s biohealth companies.”
David Dalton, Chief Executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have attracted this funding to develop services to enhance patient care in Salford and the Northwest generally. Through working closely with our fellow collaborators we aim to work with and offer healthcare professionals the tools they require to improve the health of local populations.”
Source: Northwest Regional Development Agency