Visit the Discover-NOW website

Discover-NOW, hosted by Imperial College Health Partners, is the Health Data Research Hub for Real World Evidence. Discover-NOW brings together NHS organisations, globally recognised academic, industry, technology, research and charity partners as well as patients and the public and aims to revolutionise the way health data is used responsibly for research into treating and preventing disease.

Whilst Discover-NOW remains an active member of the HDR UK Hub Alliance, the Hub is now scaling into a London-wide Secure Data Environment thanks to £3.6 million grant funding from the Data for Research and Development programme.

As the London SDE, Discover-NOW is one of the sub-national secure data environments (SNSDEs), a network of SDEs developed by NHS England to support nationwide research into diseases and conditions affecting the population, to enable the development of new treatments and the analysis of how health and care is delivered to improve patient experiences and outcomes.  

Once the London-wide data is linked, Discover-NOW will be able to provide approved academic and commercial users access to anonymised data for London’s whole population of 10.8 million people. This will create one of the largest data assets in the world and offer unparalleled opportunities for discovery science to improve patient care. 

Establishing Discover-NOW as the London SDE is a collaborative endeavour between Imperial College Health Partners, the London Data Service, the London Health Data Strategy, ONELondonUCLPartners and the Health Innovation Network. 

About Discover-NOW

  • Since its inception, Discover-NOW has pioneered the use of real-world evidence (RWE) in health research, making it the ideal foundation from which to develop a London-wide secure data environment for research and development. To date, we have supported the approval of almost 300 data access requests, and research informed by Discover data has translated into 17 academic publications.  

    Discover-NOW is pioneering the use of Real World Evidence in health research. Real World Evidence research is based instead on health data that is collected in real world settings such as routine appointments and from mobile devices. This data gives a richer insight through allowing researchers to better design and conduct studies about potential treatments and the impact they could have on the health of the population.

    At Discover-NOW all our work is underpinned by the Five Safes: 

    • Safe projects 
    • Safe people 
    • Safe setting 
    • Safe outputs 
    • Safe data 
  • Discover-NOW enables research through: 

  • Discover-NOW can only revolutionise the way health information is used to treat and prevent disease in the future with the support and trust of our communities and wider population. Our approach to patient and public involvement and engagement includes: 

    • Empowering individuals to be more involved in research 
    • Involving people with lived experience 
    • Working in partnerships with research charities 
    • Engaging community leaders and champions 
    • Involving our population through deliberation 

    We are committed and are working in partnership with the public, patients and professionals to understand what additional safeguards and controls need to be in place to ensure trusted access to, and use of, depersonalised data.