Real-time hospital admissions data system for London ICS

A team of clinicians and researchers from across north west London are working to develop a new system to provide hospital admission data in real-time for partners across its Integrated Care System.

By coordinating data from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s existing iCARE database and forming links with other existing data systems across London and the wider UK, it is hoped that the new system can be used to identify early signs of disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, or community-based health issues such as legionella.

iCARE has been selected as a starting point for the system in London as it already links routinely collected primary and secondary care data. The team behind iCARE includes clinicians, data scientists, and engineers, who specialise in investigating how clinical data can be analysed and optimised to provide information that can benefit patients and help generate insights to inform devisions and research.

The researchers are working in partnership with the north west London population health data platform WSIC to support the proposed system. However, it’s already been tested on its ability to identify public health issues in real-time using data from admissions to identify trends related to rare vaccine-related adverse events such as blood clots or thrombocytopenia.

It’s also planned for the system to connect with similar systems planned in Birmingham, the Midlands, Cheshire, Mersey and Scotland, for a national benefit.

Mr Erik Mayer, Transformation Chief Clinician Information Officer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and researcher at NIHR Imperial BCR, said: “We already collect a wealth of data from our patients so that we can care for them effectively and this data has been shown by the work of iCARE to be incredibly impactful when analysed as a large data set as it can give us unique insights in to the health of our communities. We simply would not be able to have this information without complex algorithms and data analysis processes.

“We hope that by utilising our existing iCARE system and providing it with strong links to other systems across the country and within our ICS, we can provide a safe, secure system through which to analyse large amounts of health data and provide real-time insights that could improve and speed up our response to public health issues, ultimately improving outcomes for patients.”