New hub to enhance clinical trial capability

NHS Digital is partnering with the University of Oxford, Microsoft and IBM to develop a new hub that aims to revolutionise the way in which clinical trials are delivered.

NHS DigiTrial, the NHS Health Data Research Hub for Clinical Trials, is one of seven new hubs announced to enable cutting-edge research for health discoveries, and will provide foundation services to determine whether a clinical trial is feasible, and to support better planning and delivery of clinical trials in the UK.

Led by Health Data Research UK, the hubs are the first of their kind in the world and aims to improve the lives of people with debilitating conditions by making health data more accessible and user-friendly for research while maintaining strict controls around data security and privacy.

NHS DigiTrial will contribute to lowering costs of future medical treatment and therapies and will be part of an ecosystem to support life science organisations, attract future inward investment to the UK, and advance and improve vital healthcare research to benefit patients.

Sarah Wilkinson, CEO of NHS Digital, said: “Our new ‘NHS DigiTrial’ Hub will enable us to strengthen our support for academic research communities and Life Sciences partners in the extraordinary and vital work they do to develop new treatments. We are very excited about partnering with the Nuffield Department of Population Health in this work, and delighted to have support, and deep technical expertise from Microsoft and IBM.

“As the primary national data custodian for the Health and Care system, NHS Digital’s first and central consideration in all such work is operating within appropriate privacy, security and information governance frameworks, and these will guide the design and delivery of this new service.”

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