What do we mean by ‘unstructured data’?

Unstructured data refers to health information that is not organised in a pre-defined way – for example, there isn’t a pre-set ‘drop down’ list of options that the doctor clicks on. Examples of unstructured data include cardiac and brain images, ‘free type’ sections of patient medical notes, and electrocardiograms (‘ECGs’).

What are we doing?

There is a huge amount of potentially useful information in this type of data, which is currently underused for research because it is harder to analyse. We want to improve access to this type of health information, and improve the quality of it, to be able to answer key research questions in cardiovascular disease. By improving this type of data, we hope it will be increasingly used to improve the treatment and management of cardiovascular disease.

As a step towards establishing national priorities for cardiovascular imaging research, we are organising a prioritisation exercise to gather the opinions of a diverse range of stakeholders. You can read more about why this is important and how you can help here.