Projects, progress and learning following five years of GOSH DRIVE

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has released a report which marks five years since the launch of its Data Research, Innovation and Virtual Environments (DRIVE) unit in 2018, highlighting how the unit has supported more than 300 data research projects over the last five years, and has “captured over 100 ideas from GOSH staff and connected innovators across the NHS, life sciences and technology industry and academia” in the last 18 months.

One of the projects which GOSH DRIVE has successfully completed over the last five years is a new information dashboard developed in collaboration with cardiology teams, which “collated and displayed vital data on patient outcomes in a rapid and accessible way”, saving an estimated ten hours of analyst time per week compared with manual analysis.

In partnership with UCL Computer Science, UCLMotionInput was developed, a software which uses physical movements and speech to control a computer, promoting hygiene in hospitals and helping those with mobility issues to use computers.

A partnership with Roche UK has supported the use of data to co-develop digital tools to “uncover better ways to care for children and young people with rare and complex diseases”. The “first of its kind” collaboration will develop the use of technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure that data is better used to improve care.

Improving data use and advancing clinical informatics

The report shares how GOSH DRIVE has established a secure Digital Research Environment (DRE), as well as a group to “oversee the use of routine healthcare data for secondary purposes and provide assurance that projects meet data governance requirements”. The DRE has helped to support more than 300 projects to date.

Using the DRE, 4CE has begun working to securely join up paediatric data for research and innovation purposes, characterising more than seven million electronic health record data items to date, in a way which is hoped to support paediatric research.

The DRE team has also supported a project to combine data to help build an understanding of rare inflammatory diseases, enabling the development of a new secure data capture system and the automatic integration of information already collected in the electronic patient record.

In addition, the report notes, the DRE has helped advance research on the use of medicines in children by automating the data management process, allowing for the standardisation of measures and increasing the speed of data extraction. Using the data from GOSH’s electronic health records, scientists were able to conduct the “largest ever study of posaconazole”, which is just one example of the way that the data can be used to “fill in the gaps and better inform doctors about the use of ‘off-label’ medicines in children”.

Lessons learned

The report goes on to share some of the learnings which have emerged from the DRIVE unit over the last five years. These learnings include the need to develop new understanding and skills to implement these types of projects, and the need to develop appropriate governance processes for the safe handling of data.

Another identified learning is that “developing a cutting-edge digital technology in isolation will not work”, and that “successful projects require engagement from technicians, clinicians, and operational teams. Involvement from the start and throughout can ensure a technology is appropriately design and implemented in the right place, at the right time”.

Future focus

Future areas of focus identified in the report include the development of the Clinical Intelligence Unit, which will “bring together and develop capabilities to leverage operational data”, partnering with clinical teams to develop understanding of their needs and ensure that digital tools are designed to support their rules.

The idea of a “hospital without walls” is also a focus, with the report revealing plans to look at wearable devices and ways of reducing the time spent in hospital for patients.

In addition, the report outlines plans to develop the existing digital infrastructure in order to “train and test AI tools for healthcare of the future” along with working alongside clinicians, patients and their families and industry partners, to identify suitable use cases.

Last year, GOSH launched two new AI projects through the DRIVE unit, which set out to explore the ways datasets can accelerate research and improve outcomes for patients.

In September, we spoke to the team at Civica, who shared their thoughts on AI and data, the opportunities, challenges, and how to tackle them.

To read the GOSH DRIVE report in full, please click here.