Health Data

We are working with regional partners to tackle vital challenges for healthcare that can only be addressed using the unique opportunities emerging from a digital NHS.

Big data can rapidly turn into big noise without the proper analytics to make sense of it.

In healthcare, innovations like artificial intelligence and machine learning are radically improving our ability to spot diseases, identify risks, and tailor therapies. But beyond the modelling of a condition, expert knowledge is also needed to annotate, code, curate and in turn interpret data and convert it into meaningful insight. 

While the NHS contains some of the richest health data in the world, helping researchers learn more about the relationships between the biological, environmental and socioeconomic aspects of disease, the ability to extract useful information from patient records has been limited because of the data’s scale and heterogeneity. 

The University of Birmingham has partnered with leading organisations to extract useful insights that are arising from a digital NHS.

The HDR UK Midlands network brings together the healthcare and data science communities from across the Midlands to improve the quality of health data, and to develop new tools and technologies that equip our frontline healthcare staff to deliver excellent care.

In April 2023, the University of Birmingham received a further 5 years of research funding to host the HDR UK Midlands Regional network.   

HDR UK Midlands has three high level objectives, these are: 

  1. To maintain and expand the HDR UK Midlands regional network reaching out to all parts of our region.
  2. To upskill and improve the knowledge and capabilities of our workforce by enabling them to learn from each other.
  3. To maximise opportunities for our region through the HDR UK Midlands regional community platform. 

To bring together the strengths of our region, the network has launched its “HDR UK Midlands Regional Community Platform”. 

The HDR UK Midlands Regional Community is not exclusive and is open to anyone who has an interest in health data science. 

Following an invitation to the University to join the Alan Turing Institute, as the Institute expanded its university network from its five founding university partners to 13, 22 researchers from across the University were appointed Alan Turing Fellows in 2018, joining the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

“The Midlands HDR UK Substantive Site award is hugely exciting... By bringing together excellence in research and healthcare informatics and data science across Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Warwick, we have a unique opportunity for innovation to improve diagnosis, refine prognosis and personalise treatment for patients regionally and nationally.”

Professor Simon Ball

Professor Simon Ball

Director of the HDR UK – Midlands site

Discover more

  • HDR UK - Midlands

    A regional Health Data Research UK site that is developing and applying cutting edge data science approaches in order to address the most pressing health research challenges facing the public.

  • Birmingham Health Partners

    A strategic partnership to harness research strengths in the University of Birmingham and NHS to deliver better treatments and care to patients.

  • Research and Innovation at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

    Our partner University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is recognised as an NHS Global Digital Exemplar, with strength in health data research to improve quality of care and improve understanding of disease

  • Healthcare Evaluation Data for UK Health Data Benchmarking

    Healthcare Evaluation Data (HED) is an online benchmarking solution that allows healthcare organisations to utilise analytics which harness HES (Hospital Episode Statistics), national inpatient and outpatient and ONS (Office for National Statistics).

  • The Alan Turing Institute - University of Birmingham

    The University of Birmingham is part of the Alan Turing Institute and works with all Turing partners, and the wider data science and artificial intelligence community, to advance the world-changing potential of data science.

  • Institute of Translational Medicine

    Established to promote a ‘Network Medicine’ approach to translational and clinical science leading the development of high dimensional, multimodal, multiomic data integration approaches coupled with clinical as well as molecular and imaging expertise.