In September 2016, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and NHS Digital brought together a workshop of very senior health and biomedical informatics researchers from across the UK to discuss and prioritise a number of opportunities for products and services that NHS Digital could potentially develop to support research.
These ideas were shortlisted and prioritised by the group and presented to the NHS Digital board, and a further workshop held for researchers in October 2017.
In August 2017 many of these concepts were included in the NHS Digital response to the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy; mapping and delivery planning is underway to ensure a single prioritised list for delivery. Areas for innovation, which are at various stages of development, include:
- remote data access environment - connecting with the Data Services Platform and the concept of a 'Sandbox'
- data donation bank
- support modernising and improving clinical trials
- data linkage - clarity on existing data linkage, such as methodologies and the potential for other linkage, for example new national linked data sets
- secondments and placements to encourage innovation, sharing knowledge and talent