Visit the NHS DigiTrials website

NHS DigiTrials helps NHS patients across the length and breadth of England participate in clinical trials of new treatments. The results generated will influence the day-to-day care of millions of future NHS patients with a wide range of conditions.

A Health Data Research Hub alumnus, HDR UK’s funding as a Hub served as an important step in demonstrating NHS DigiTrials’ value to the clinical trials field.

The Hub has since received multi-year funding from NHS England through the Data for R&D investment pot to grow and develop its services on an ambitious scale. NHS Digitrials can now support delivery of industry-backed trials to help transform large-scale clinical trials in England.

About NHS DigiTrials

  • NHS DigiTrials provide secure data about people’s health and care to researchers, with the aim to:

    • Enable more opportunities for participation in research
    • Reduce the cost and complexity of developing new treatments
    • Reduce drug costs to the NHS and improve the quality of evidence on the effectiveness and safety of new treatments for patients and their doctors.
  • NHS DigiTrials is made up of 4 services that support clinical trials:

    • Feasibility Service:  Works out if there are enough suitable people in England to take part in a particular trial but does not identify individuals
    • Recruitment Service: Uses patient information to identify people who might be suitable for a certain trial – and contacts them to see if they would like to take part
    • Communication Service: Keeps trial volunteers, who have consented to receive this information, updated about the progress and results of their trial
    • Outcomes Service: Uses patient information for a period of time (agreed with the trial organisation) to show the long-term impact of treatments

    Recently, NHS DigiTrials has released a new and improved version of its feasibility tool, which now enables researchers to determine if there are enough suitable people for their clinical trials in a matter of minutes. Researchers can run queries using filters such as disease diagnoses, hospital interventions, and primary care medicines, within a secure environment.

    NHS DigiTrials is also continuing to develop other services to help trialists communicate with their participants and use routine healthcare data to follow-up their cohort.

  • NHS DigiTrials is proud to work with a diverse and dedicated co-development panel, which has supported the Hub since its inception in 2019. The panel helps to design and evolve services, making them accessible to every community, and offers open and honest insight and represents the voice of patients and the public. This is to ensure that the service is trustworthy, easy to understand, and keeps the public well informed as to how patient data is being used for trials.

    Outcomes supported by NHS DigiTrials included the first set of results on the success of Dexamethasone in reducing deaths of people on ventilators (part of the Oxford RECOVERY trial), trials with NHS Blood and Transplant into the effectiveness of treating coronavirus patients with plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and vaccine trials.