Methodological Innovations

BRAINHAND_160719_iahr-2IAHR has rapidly become a UK and international centre for methodology, primary and secondary test research. Important outputs include systematic reviews and methods for assessing the impact of tests on patients and designs for test accuracy studies. The group leads international activity to introduce test accuracy reviews into the Cochrane Library, provides research support for test reviews to NIHR-funded UK Cochrane Review groups and has hosted three international methodology symposia.

Aims

  • Using our experience and success in systematic reviews and methods for assessing the impact of tests on patients and designs for test accuracy studies.
  • Providing an internationally competitive contribution to health economics research through a coherent balance of methodological and applied research, informing policy and resource allocation locally.
  • Measuring patients’ views about the impact of disease and treatment and are reported directly by the patient and promoting the efficient integration of PROs in the NHS.
  • Research and teaching focusing on institutional, technological, ethical and cultural determinants of medical knowledge and health and social care practices.
  • To be a global leader in the use of routinely collected data to improve health outcomes for individuals and the population.

Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation

Theme lead: Jon Deeks

The Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation team undertakes research including the application and  development of methods for test evaluation, evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and the evaluation of  interventions, particularly through cluster trials and stepped-wedge designs.

Health Economics Unit

Theme lead: Tracy Roberts

The Health Economics Unit seeks to provide an internationally competitive contribution to health economics research through a coherent balance of methodological and applied research, informing policy and resource allocation locally, nationally and internationally. 

 

Patient Reported Outcomes

Theme lead: Mel Calvert

Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) measure patients’ views about the impact of disease and treatment and are reported directly by the patient.

The Centre for Patient Reported Outcome Research (CPROR) promotes excellence in PROs Research and Education

CPROR aims are to promote the efficient integration of PROs in the NHS, by:

  • Building capacity for applied and methodological PROs research to evaluate PROs use in routine care and as part of ‘big-data’.
  • Supporting clinicians, trials units, ethics committees, funders, regulators and policy makers to ensure high quality, ethical, efficient PRO data collection.
  • Providing education, training and support for optimal use and integration of PROs in clinical trials and routine care.
  • Working in partnership with patients and the public, clinicians and policy makers to ensure PRO data collected in routine care and trials meets their needs.
  • Build on existing international collaborations with clinicians, funding bodies, regulatory agencies, methodologists and industry.

PROlearn is a freely accessible information resource for patients, clinicians and researchers wishing to find out more about PROs.

NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands (RDS)

The Research Design Service West Midlands provides expert advice to anyone in the region on all aspects of designing a research study.

Social Studies in Medicine

Theme lead: Jonathan Reinarz

Team members represent the fields of sociology, anthropology, ethics, history and qualitative methods.  Research and teaching focuses on institutional, technological, ethical and cultural determinants of medical knowledge and health and social care practices.  The Unit offers courses and programs at undergraduate and graduate levels (MA and PhD) which examine the social and qualitative side of medicine, health and society. SSiM organises seminars and workshops, that bridge disciplinary boundaries, and provide an affiliation for visiting scholars wishing to explore medicine’s social or historical developments. 

Health Informatics

Theme leads:

 Krish Nirantharakumar (Data Science) and Tom Marshall (Implementation Science)

Our vision is to be a global leader in the use of routinely collected data to improve health outcomes for individuals and the population. Our College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham has a strong track record in research and education in health informatics. The Health Informatics team has access to several key healthcare data sources including:

  • GP data from The Health Improvement Network data (THIN)
  • National Hospital Episode Statistics
  • Local detailed hospital data from the Prescribing Information and Communication System (PICS, provided by University Hospital Birmingham)
  • Numerous surveillance data through Public Health England.

The Health Informatics Team has recently expanded to include expertise in implementation science, diagnostic test research, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This has created an opportunity to take a whole systems-based approach to using routinely collected data to improve health outcomes.

Find out more about our Health Informatics team