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Digital Research Environment (DRE)

The DRE team facilitates innovation in the use of data that underpins research and digital developments for the benefit of patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) as well as the wider health sector.

You can find out more about the GOSH DRE below. If you’d like to get in touch or are interested in conducting a project with the team, please email DRESupport@gosh.nhs.uk

Collaborative research environment

The DRE team manages a digital research platform supplied by Aridhia.

It provides secure access to data recorded for more than 20 years and works alongside the Electronic Patient Record system at GOSH. This allows for data management, visualisation and analysis in research and operational projects, in collaboration with academics, clinicians and partner organisations. The platform integrates with advanced analytics tools allowing data to be interrogated for patterns, modelling and proof-of-concept testing of digital technologies.

The DRE team have set up more than 300 workspaces on the platform and developed standard templates for data extraction to accelerate the process.

Data management best practice

The DRE has established project organisational structures and processes aligned with best practice in data science.

These underpin projects undertaken by the DRE team including, for example, implementation of the FAIR principles to describe data formats. These stand for findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability, and serve as a guide for delivery of data science research outputs. The team works in open source adding to GitHub repositories.

The team continually engages with operational and clinical teams that input and use data to define and implement best practice in data management, research and innovation across the NHS, as well as international hospitals and organisations with a shared vision to improve healthcare through data science.

Structured data collection

Our work follows the FAIR principles for data management. These are standards to make data – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable, FAIR. Following these standards will improve research data management, for example, increasing the efficiency of multi-centre clinical trials, which will result in patient benefit by speeding up discoveries.

The team use REDCap to support researchers to collect data in a structured way. The system will also link with electronic patient record data. This data can then be transferred into DRE workspaces for analysis. Find out more about the community

Professor Payam Barnaghi is an expert in developing artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions for healthcare and has worked with a number of data platforms. He said “the DRE team at GOSH offer great support and effective, secure access to data. Through my projects, I’ve also worked with other health databases and have found the DRE much easier to use, and quicker to run my projects on. There's always someone with the expertise on how certain records are collected or aggregated and this is very unique. It offers a great opportunity to create research projects that are applicable to clinical needs and environments.”

Project examples

Cardiac dashboard

It's common for clinicians to come together regularly to discuss adverse patient outcomes so that they can quickly identify any safety concerns and improve outcomes for the future.

To prepare for these meetings, data analysts have to collate and understand information on patients' outcomes. This takes lots of time.

The DRE worked with cardiologists at GOSH to set up a data base and dashboard that links together this information. This means that the cardiac team can access data more rapidly in informative patient profiles to be discussed in these meetings. 

A doctor using a computer screen to look at heart beat
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