The Brookes research group works on various core topics of relevance to HDR UK, including:
> Computer methods and tools that make it possible for researchers to easily and accurately finding useful research assets (such as data and patients) and ensuring this is done in a manner that never exposes private, sensitive or valuable information. Applying these approaches to find healthcare data of research interest will be a useful capability for HDR UK
> Devising standardised ways for computers to handle data, so that computers and data in different places can interact and work together. This involves working within and often leading international consortia of relevant experts to create and test these standards.
> Policies and approaches that enable patient consents and data use conditions to be handle by computers, and hence fully respected in all the work HDR UK will undertake with patient-based and other datasets. One example of this concerns encrypting data and data identifiers and linking these encrypted IDs together so that different datasets relating to any one patient can be safely combined to enable more and better research to take place.
Such capabilities are most notably being devised and applied in the context of rare genetic diseases as part of large-scale international studies, and also with drug companies to enable more effective clinical trials.