British Heart Foundation, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cancer Research UK, European Bioinformatics Institute, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Health Data Research UK, Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, Imperial College London, Keele University, King’s College London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Newcastle University, NHS Digital, NHS England, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Scotland, NICE, Office for National Statistics, Queen’s University Belfast, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swansea Bay University Health Board, Swansea University, University College London, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Leeds, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Strathclyde, University of Warwick, University Hospital of North Midlands and Wellcome Trust.
BHF Data Science Centre
Enabling data-led research to improve heart and circulatory health.
What We Do
The BHF Data Science Centre is a partnership between Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF), and sits within HDR UK.
We work with a wide range of partners including patients, public, clinicians, researchers and NHS organisations to help them carry out research using health data into the causes, prevention and treatment of all diseases of the heart and circulation (such heart attacks, stroke and vascular dementia). We do this to ensure new advances in treatment and care for diseases of the heart and circulation get to the patient as quickly as possible.
The centre started in January 2020 and has initial investment from the BHF for £10 million over the first five years.
- Create a centre of interdisciplinary expertise that provides national research capability in cardiovascular data science.
- Create strong and durable partnerships with the NHS, incorporating cardiovascular research expertise across the UK and acting as a UK-wide resource to support numerous future studies using electronic health records (EHRs) linked to a range of other multi-dimensional cardiovascular datasets.
- Engage with patients, the public and practitioners through partnership with the BHF and other bodies to deliver a transparent and publicly acceptable approach to the governance of health data research within the cardiovascular research domain.
- Create and foster international partnerships that enable the UK cardiovascular research community to engage with, contribute to and lead data-enabled cardiovascular research at international scale.
Better use of nationally-collated, structured, coded data: accessing, improving and using linked, national, population-wide health data.
Better use of unstructured data: addressing the challenges of accessing, improving and using unstructured data, for example from cardiac and brain imaging, medical free text and electrocardiograms.
Personal Monitoring Data
Exploring how data from apps and wearables, linked to other health datasets, can inform trajectories of cardiovascular health and disease.
Developing methods to define cardiovascular health and disease in computable form through a collaborative network of expertise that provides a world-leading, open, cardiovascular phenotype library of tools and protocols.
Data-Enabled Clinical Trials
Developing platforms for efficient, cost-effective trials, using routine health data to recruit and follow patients with cardiovascular conditions.
Facilitating the linkage of large, ‘omics-rich’ cohorts to electronic health records to better understand the causes of cardiovascular diseases.
Diabetes Data Science Catalyst
This exciting partnership between the BHF Data Science Centre, Diabetes UK and HDR UK aims to develop improvements in our understanding of the link between cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The below projects showcase the BHF Data Science Centre response to COVID-19.
One of seven National Flagship Projects approved by the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership, linking population healthcare datasets across the UK to understand the relationship between COVID-19 and cardiovascular diseases.
Clinical Care for CVD in the COVID-19 emergency is an initiative which involves working with large hospitals across the UK to assess the unintended consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on specialist services for cardiovascular diseases.
False Positive Tests
Testing for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection in populations where active infection is very uncommon will result in some false positive test results. We have developed an interactive tool to explore this often overlooked problem.
Co-ordination and engagement
Providing scientific leadership, central support and facilitation across all areas of work being convened and delivered by the BHF Data Science Centre, led by Health Data Research UK.
Talent and training
Recruiting theme leaders to shape our thematic areas, and training PhD students and research fellows to build capacity and capability in data science across the UK.
Patient and public involvement
Ensuring the voices of patient and public representatives are considered and appropriately embedded in our work, with the shared aim of improving the quality of research for maximum benefit.
Digital device link to health records could be key to answering major health challenges
Health insights gained from smart tech and wearable devices could be bolstered dramatically by safe and secure linkage to electronic health records, according to researchers at the BHF Data...
Cardiac rehabilitation smart tech set to be trialled
The use of smart technology to support the recovery of heart attack patients is to be assessed as part of a major new study, with input from the BHF Data Science Centre.
500,000 missed out on blood pressure lowering drugs during pandemic
Researchers warn of additional heart attacks and strokes adding to a healthcare system already under pressure.
Who We Work With
The Oversight Committee reviews the progress and management of the centre and advise on future direction and strategic partnerships. They provide recommendations on the strategy and direction of the BHF Data Science Centre (DSC) to the BHF and HDR UK Board.
The Oversight Committee is chaired by Dr Louise Wood CBE (Director of Science at the Department of Health and Social Care and joint lead for the National Institute of Health Research). The Oversight Committee meet twice a year.
The Steering group provides scientific and management advice to the centre’s director and her team in the running of the centre.
The steering group is chaired by Prof Cathie Sudlow and membership includes clinical academic expertise, leads of professional societies and other relevant associations, data provider expertise, and members of HDR UK.
Details of our governance and who we report to can be found here