Monday 20 July 2020 saw over 25 health data science leaders from across the sector including academia, NHS, policy making, charities, industry and the public come together for a roundtable discussion jointly convened by NHS England and HDR UK. This was an opportunity to test out some ideas and thinking and work together to identify where and how we want to move forward in health data science.

It was a dynamic and packed discussion where the learnings from COVID-19 were explored in areas including, but not limited to, the need for established infrastructure, improved quality of data, action to tackle inequalities and transparency. The session also established that we have a real opportunity to address these lessons, but also be innovative using real-time data, become better coordinated, the need to do this on an international scale and much more in the future.

COVID-19 has brought health data into the public eye like never before and whilst the discussion demonstrated the need to develop a strategy that involved creating use cases and broadening the community and voices to work together, it’s clear this was only the beginning as we determine what this will look like moving forward.

This is only a snapshot of the discussion. Find out more by viewing:

The outputs from this discussion will be shared with funders and system leaders to inform the future design of UK health data research capabilities. This will enable us to prepare and respond effectively to subsequent COVID-19 waves, future pandemics, and also to improve health data research for other diseases.

We are at the very early stages of the conversation. If you have any questions or ideas or would like to be involved moving forward, please email us at