Health tech supplier partners with UK Brain BioLink, supporting consent-gathering for neuroscience research

A health tech start-up with links to the University of Oxford, OX.DH, has been named as the industry partner for UK Brain BioLink – aiming to tackle the “fragmented” nature of consent gathering for research projects by implementing a digital consent and community outreach programme, with funding from the Medical Research Council.

The projects are to support nationwide translational neuroscience research involving the use of human cells and tissue removed during NHS procedures, or specifically for scientific analysis purposes. UK Brain BioLink’s chief investigator at the University of Oxford, Olaf Ansorge, explains that with many neurological illnesses unique to humans, study of human tissue is key. “In my experience, most people are keen to support research on their tissue necessarily removed during NHS care,” Olaf states. “However, they are often not provided with timely, sensitive and easily accessible information about what that entails.”

OX.DH’s cloud-native technology is designed to support integration and digitisation of workflows, with their solution split into components to enable different components to be leveraged for specific healthcare requirements. For the purposes of UK Brain BioLink, OX.DH’s digital consenting module OX.pc will be utilised to deliver an informed patient consent management platform, developed in partnership with representatives from the public, NHS, academia, data scientists and industry.

Along with a reporting dashboard to support participants and researchers in tracking consent status, OX.pc allows educational materials or questionnaires to be sent out digitally within NHS-grade firewalls to ensure confidentiality. It also features built-in data export mechanisms capable of stripping sample data from identifying information.

It is hoped that the partnership with OX.DH will allow UK Brain BioLink “to create a flexible, secure and easy-to-navigate online ‘home’ for people to manage their consents and learn how their tissue donation contributes to scientific discoveries for the benefit of all of us.”

John Kosobucki, CEO and founder of OX.DH, states: “Through our involvement with UK Brain BioLink, we hope to solve these issues for the neuroscience community and deliver a scalable prototype that can be adapted for any clinical or scientific context and ultimately form the basis for a national system.”

HTN previously interviewed John about OX.DH’s aspirations, projects and plans for the future here.

In September, we covered how The Male Fertility Clinic has partnered with OX.DH to centralise their patient management and streamline appointment booking; earlier in the year, we shared the news that the health tech start-up has also partnered with Kingston Hospital and with Australian fertility service provider Monash IVF.