Research using non-identified patient data is driving healthcare forward and improving patient outcomes

Information for Members of the Public

Medical research is essential for improving healthcare and tackling the biggest health problems that we face today. Whether you are healthy or have a medical condition, medical research benefits everyone by improving doctors’ and scientists’ understanding of how well different treatments and medicines work.

There are many ways in which medical research is conducted. Clinical trials, which are used to test new medicines in a controlled setting, are one example that many people may be familiar with, but there is much more to medical research than clinical trials. Medical research is increasingly being carried out using health data as a complement to traditional clinical trials to understand what is happening to patients when they are treated in real life settings. Health information collected on patients, when they are prescribed a medicine or visit their doctor, can be used to conduct medical research into the effectiveness of a particular treatment or to detect harmful side effects of a medicine.

Hospital Treatment Insights Service (HTI)
IQVIA is currently working with a number of hospital trusts in England to collect information on illness and medicines prescribed in hospitals. This data is used to describe how medicines are being used and to conduct studies to monitor the use, effectiveness and safety of medicines when treating diseases.

Non-identified longitudinal data collected from GP practices in the UK are an invaluable medical research resource that enables a patient’s journey to be tracked from the initial consultation and investigation and through referral to diagnosis of a condition and treatment. Chronic conditions, in particular, require a long history of data so that trends and signals can be detected and early risk prediction tools can be designed. Availability of sufficient data and research can drive health policy changes or adoption of new guidelines for healthcare providers, thus leading to improved outcomes for patients.

Non-identified primary care patient data from GP practices