In November 2019, we held our 4th annual symposium in Cambridge to share some of the work we’ve been doing this year.  Over 50 people attended the day, with friends and colleagues joining us from across Public Health England, AstraZeneca, IQVIA, and the NHS.

The day started with a warm welcome from David Bower, Chair of the HDI Board and Jem Rashbass, HDI’s Medical Director.

The morning talks then focused on two important areas of work, with the first session addressing how we are working to improve access to healthcare data and analysis. Cong Chen spoke about how HDI’s Simulacrum has been helping to facilitate both an external understanding of the cancer data held in Public Health England and the development of queries to access that data. He was followed by Adam Reich from IQVIA who spoke about IQVIA’s current research goals and how the Simulacrum has been improving their understanding about cancer treatments in England.  Lucy Elliss-Brookes from Public Health England then took to the stage to showcase how the collaborative partnerships between Public Health England and other organisations, such as HDI, are working to improve access to data and expanding analytical expertise.
The second half of the morning focused on how HDI have been visualising patient pathway data to bring new insights to improving patient treatment. Hilary Wilderspin, HDI’s Director, presented the latest progress on our ‘Pathway Visual Toolkit’ which helps trusts to see how cancer patients move within the hospital system. Mick Peake, from UCLH, and Steve Scott, from RM Partners, then demonstrated how the NHS has been using this toolkit to identify areas to improve patient care. The toolkit gives clinical teams and commissioners insight into variations in care, timeliness of care and a better understanding of inter-trust care. Therefore, the toolkit gives clinicians the ability to identify areas that can be improved and also the ability to monitor these areas after changes have been made.
After lunch our summer interns returned to present their projects and share their experiences of the intern programme. You can read more about what they worked on and what they liked about their summer with HDI here.

To close the day, we heard about the work to develop and simulate new datasets. Ruth Swann, from the Cancer Research UK and Public Health England partnership, spoke about her work analysing data from the most recent National Cancer Diagnosis Audit to find ways to improve the pathways to diagnosis for cancer patients. Tim Gentry and Noo Rashbass shared recent investigations into displaying data from a range of sources and the relative geo-positioning of NHS hospital trusts. And finally,  plans were announced for the Simulacrum to incorporate synthetic radiotherapy treatment and molecular therapy data.

Many thanks to everyone for their contributions towards what turned out to be a very enjoyable day!

Article written by Sophie Morris

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