During the year, HDR UK continued to develop advanced infrastructure and applied cutting-edge data science approaches to clinical, biological, genomic, and other multi-dimensional health data to address the most pressing health research challenges facing society.  

The assembly of a UK-wide data infrastructure and services for health research – including not only technology, but the underpinning governance, ethics, standards, public engagement and data curation to enable health data research – is enabling discovery and safe research access to over 720 datasets held by 60 data custodians. For the first time ever, research is now possible using linked, UK-wide data on a population of more than 65 million people. 

HDR UK researchers are accelerating the pace and scale of health and biomedical data science across six National Research Priorities, which have produced UK-wide research that no single research organisation could achieve alone. Between April 2018 to March 2022, HDR UK researchers published over 2,300 research papers, receiving more than 66,000 citations; many of these have informed policy decisions and clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through the year HDR UK continued to build its partnerships and collaborations across the NHS, research institutes, industry, charities, government and regulators. Involvement of patients and the public continues to be a priority with their views at the centre of all work to ensure transparency and earn trust in Institute programmes. 

Working with partners and colleagues across the Institute, HDR UK has developed an ambitious and innovative future strategy for its future five years (2023-2028) that aims to increase the scale, quality, speed and impact of insights derived from health data research in the UK and internationally. This new strategy will be published by the end of 2022.  

The full annual review can be downloaded from our website.  

Andrew Morris, Director of HDR UK, said: 

“2021/22 was a pivotal year for HDR UK with challenges, learning and progress in equal measure.  

“It was a year in which the word’ ‘data’ made international headlines, and in which we strengthened our leadership and demonstrated impact as the national institute for health data science. 

“As we look to the future and the implementation of our ambitious new strategy, I want to thank everyone who has worked with us for their support and to reiterate the Institute’s commitment to the core mission of uniting the UK’s health data to make discoveries that improve people’s lives.  

“It is a mission which is central to all the work that we do, and we are unswerving in our efforts to harness the expertise, passion and drive across the health data science community to make it a reality.”