Aridhia Data Challenge Day

With the new year we found out about arecent NHS data sharing event organised by Aridhia, UCL Partners, WELC Care Collaborative and the Farr Institute.

Aridhia’s data science platform and data safe haven underpinned the event allowing teams of analysts, researchers and clinicians to explore over 200 live data sets from the London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Primary and secondary anonymized care data from 1.2 million patients was made available for the event by GPs and hospitals. The event was one of the first times healthcare professionals have been able to address joined up data sets, connecting hospital data with data from GPs.

What were the objectives for the data challenge day? Take a look at this video and read the impressions below from participants and organisers on how they benefited from this collaborative event.

John Robson, GP & Cardio lead for Tower Hamlets PCT

“We are extremely grateful to … Aridhia for making this possible; for the first time, a wide range of people here – academics, researchers, universities and CCGs – have got access to full, live datasets from primary and secondary care data, and I think that is astonishing.”

Who are the WELC? 

WELC has responsibility for a population of almost one million people in an area facing significant health and social challenges. The WELC care collaborative consists of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Councils, UCL Partners and NHS trusts that include the main acute provider Barts Health, within three boroughs – Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. The collaboration is investing in joining up services across health and social care with a key aim of undertaking effective analysis of data to identify improvement opportunities.

A big collaborative partnership

Between them, WELC collaborative partners have vast amounts of healthcare data, covering a third of London. To utilise it in a way that supports patients’ healthcare and treatment, it was essential that NHS participants from the three WELC boroughs, along with UCL Partners, London Health Commission and the Farr Institute, could collaborate with data scientists, researchers and analysts, first, to anonymise patient data, then to pull together and interrogate the information. Information governance had to be of the upmost priority, yet it was essential to demonstrate that data could be linked and analysed in a way that is meaningful and informative.

Two of WELC’s stated objectives for the Data Challenge were to use available data to answer key questions, exploring techniques that might be used to continue to answer these questions, and to generate hypotheses for further testing.

With primary and secondary care data for 1.2 million patients from almost 200 NHS organisations made available for the event by GPs and hospitals, the challenge was to demonstrate the power of joined up data and collaboration. By paving the way for other NHS Pioneer Sites to be able to draw conclusions from this type of joined-up, rigorous analysis, the Data Challenge would inform more effective decision-making and lead to the delivery of better care pathways for patients.

Data analysis with the help of the Aridhia platform

Dr Phil Kozcan, Chief Clinical Information Officer, UCL Partners

“One of the challenges has been how we pull together the data from the different areas, and working with a partner like Aridhia gives us a pre-built platform that we can very easily deployed and built on, taking away one of the very difficult challenges that we faced.”

Five teams consisting of analysts, researchers, clinicians and commissioners were bolstered by eight experienced data scientists from Aridhia who worked directly with the participants to offer analytical support and to answer questions about the data sets. Aridhia’s data science platform and data safe haven, AnalytiXagility, underpinned the event.

The teams used the data to explore themes including the differences in data from different areas within the region and predictive modelling for high-risk patients according to demographics and clinical outcomes.

AnalytiXagility is cloud-based, scalable and secure, and the Controllers of the data (GPs who act as the Caldicott guardians for NHS trusts) authorised the use of the platform and safe haven for the Data Challenge. Pre-loaded with up-to-date analytical tools and technologies, AnalytiXagility supported the analysis of the complex data sets by multi-disciplinary teams, and provided the secure environment required to analyse the data.

Working collaboratively exploring live data

The Data Challenge was one of the first times clinicians, care workers and commissioners have been able to address joined up data sets, connecting hospital data with data generated in general practice, and to see for themselves just how collaboration like this will lead to improved outcomes for patients and healthcare providers.

Above all, the Data Challenge Day proved that it is possible to bring together individual data sets from across three boroughs in a secure environment for practitioners to work collaboratively with live data. The event paved the way for increased use of collaborative data exploration, and the capability of the AnalytiXagility data science platform means that WELC can pick up where it left off without losing any of the work completed to date.

While providing an exploration of the clinical data, the event also supported skills development within the local data analyst community. With each team consisting of a mixed skill-set and each including a data scientist from Aridhia, participants from within the care collaborative had the ideal opportunity to improve their data analysis skills.

Feedback from participants

Wayne Connor-Scahill, National Pioneer Programme

“Already this morning we’ve noticed people thinking out of the box and asking really intelligent questions around what we can do with this data…it’s innovation on the frontline; it’s really great collaboration with NHS public sector and private sector for better patient outcomes and care.”

Bethan George, Deputy Director Integrated Care WELC Integrated Care Programme

‘The Aridhia platform has been helpful in providing a secure place to do the analysis, but also a place to keep all the outputs… here we’ve got all the code, all the bits and pieces that they’ve used, all their presentations all in one place.’

Ryan Meikle, Data Architect, NEL Commissioning Support Unit

[The] sorts of challenges that we’ve had are logistical, the Aridhia data platform that we’ve used has really helped with that, particularly on the collaborative side.’

Dr Phil Kozcan, Chief Clinical Information Officer, UCL Partners

‘As Chief Clinical Information Officer for UCL Partners, this sort of event is very helpful for understanding the different people that we need to get together to start looking at data, working across care settings, across the clinical, the academic, and data analytics environment – an absolutely fantastic opportunity.’

Kambiz Boomla, GP Tower Hamlets & QMU GP’s Clinical Effectiveness Group

‘This is one of the first times where we’ve been able to address joined up data sets, so rather than just looking at general practice data, we’re now able to ask questions of connected data sets that connect hospital data and practice data, and it’s giving us some fantastic insights into what’s happening with our patients. General practitioners and their patients need reassurance that our data sets are secure; one of the things that we were convinced about was that the platform [AnalytiXagility] that Aridhia places this anonymised data in is a physically secure platform.’

And finally, many thank’s to Aridhia for sharing the news of this collaborative event.


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