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Introducing new Clinical Informatics Research Programme fellows

We recently welcomed three new fellows that have started their PhDs with the Clinical Informatics Research Programme (CIRP). You can find out more about them, and their projects below.

Welcome to Anne Alarilla

Patients and families at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) are directly asked about how they feel, and their experience. These are called patient reported outcome measures (PROMs). They are used to monitor a patient’s progress with treatment, understand their experience of care, and support healthcare professionals and patients to discuss health issues. PROMs can also help to improve the quality of a health service.

However, right now, electronic patient records (EPRs) aren’t set up to fully capture and utilise this information. EPRs tend to focus on other information, for example the patient’s diagnosis and the medications they receive. Healthcare staff use PROMs to inform care, and these measures could be used for research, however we don’t yet understand the added value of including these in EPRs – this project will help us to find out!

“In my PhD I will look at the evidence that already exists on PROMs in EPRs, and speak to healthcare professionals, and children and families at GOSH about how they currently use and collect PROMs in their care. This information will help me decide how to design a new, digital way to collect and use PROMs that can hopefully improve the care of children and young people.” – Anne Alarilla

Welcome to William Li

Thanks to modern EPRs, we have much more information about patient’s diagnosis, how they are treated and what happens to them. However, we don’t yet have the tools to use this evidence – called real-world evidence – to inform care immediately for patients in hospital.

Treatment decisions rely on evidence from clinical trials that include a small number of patients, which may limit the options that are considered for their care. This project will help to build a new way to process the vast amount of information in GOSH’s EPR systems to create real-world evidence insights in specific disease groups. It will also look at developing predictive models for a patient’s journey, which could help to better inform our care for children and young people.

“I’m fascinated by how machine learning (ML) can be used to improve healthcare. The concept of ML is where computer programmes can be taught, using lots of data, to do set tasks. ML programmes are already used in lots of areas of our lives, for example, it’s how online websites make recommendations for what you might like to purchase next! I’ll be building a new way to process GOSH’s EPR information so it could provide insightful options to healthcare professionals in deciding how they care for patients.” – William Li

Welcome to Cato Pauling

Fractures are very common in children, but they can be hard for even the most experienced doctors to spot. It’s important that they are diagnosed correctly as missed fractures can cause long-term disability, or even put a child at risk if a sign of physical abuse is missed.

Radiologists are specialist doctors that examine images of bone scans, called X-rays. However, there are far fewer radiologists than other healthcare professionals. A digital tool to support healthcare professionals in detecting fractures, with the expert eye of a radiologist, could be really useful to ensure that fewer fractures are missed. This project will help to develop an artificial intelligence tool just like this by teaching a computer programme about X-rays in children so that it could learn how to spot injuries. It will also test the programmes’ abilities in assessing scans for fractures compared to radiologists, and understanding if the tool helps non-radiologists and nurses.


“Following my Masters degree in Computer Science where I specialised in artificial intelligence, I’m very excited to apply these skills in a healthcare setting. I hope to make a real impact on the lives of healthcare professionals by developing this tool that could support them in their role of diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately children who sustain these injuries.” – Cato Pauling

These fellows are affiliated with University College London Institute of Child Health. The CIRP at GOSH DRIVE is made possible thanks to funding from GOSH Children’s Charity.

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