This is an update on the Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) activities associated with the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
For the latest on our response to COVID-19 go to https://www.hdruk.ac.uk/covid-19
As the national institute for health data science, our community is actively championing the use of health data to address the COVID-19 challenge including work on risk factors, genomics, clinical trials, care pathways and surveillance. We are delighted to see our sites and hubs contributing to this global challenge by forging partnerships with government, NHS, industry and academia. These activities require access to and linkage of health data and we can build on our existing expertise and emerging capabilities to support this.
We are also aware that over this period many members of our community will be diverted to providing clinical care for patients and to help the healthcare system cope with increased pressure. There is also a risk that attention will be diverted from other diseases and conditions, and that the lives of people with these diseases and conditions could be worsened, for example the impact on people with chronic conditions from COVID-19 or from knock-on impact such as reduced access to care or from isolation.
Therefore, as well as supporting teams addressing COVID-19, we are maintaining our focus on the other areas of our strategy and encouraging and supporting teams to develop creative ways to have a greater positive impact in these other disease areas. For example, accelerating the important health data innovations in Better Care that will help clinicians and patients with more remote care.
Our central team is based in the Wellcome building in central London, which is closing from 5pm on Monday 16 March until further notice. Despite this, Health Data Research UK remains very much open for business and our team will be working remotely via video conferencing.
We will continue to use our regular communication channels (website, Twitter feed and monthly newsletter HIVE) to provide updates and information. You can also contact us by emailing a member of the team directly or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement from 31st January 2020
Our research is focused on using health data at scale for research that aims to transform our understanding of non-communicable diseases, the development of vaccines and treatments, and to improve health and care of patients. We support recent calls from scientists, including colleagues at Wellcome, to speed up studies into outbreaks of infectious diseases. The use of data in these studies – gathered from the medical records of patients and the biomedical and genomic data from the virus itself – are vital to learning how the disease is caused, transmitted, evolves, and understanding its symptoms and developing proven treatments.
Sources of further information
The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England provides up to date advice and information about the outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms. It also provides information about the risk to travellers.
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