A Health and Biomedical Informatics Research Strategy for Scotland

This strategy sets out key areas for action and specific recommendations from the Health Informatics Research Advisory Group (HIRAG) on how Scotland should respond to the opportunities and challenges around the secure use of routinely collected patient data for research.

4 Conclusions

The unprecedented investment by the MRC and its funding partners, coupled with strong Government support for both health and cross-sectoral data linkage, creates a unique opportunity for a step change in health and biomedical informatics research capability in Scotland.

For this potential to be realised, there are a number of challenges that must be overcome. Strong working relationships need to be built between the new and existing infrastructure and centres of expertise. Governance must be made more streamlined and efficient. Data custodians and industry partners must be effectively engaged. Public confidence and trust need to be maintained and promoted, throughout.

There is already action in hand in several of these areas, notably the work to establish the Farr Institute Scotland and to create a national primary care dataset. The view of the Group is that further progress in the short term will depend critically on effective action to create a functioning network of safe havens, and to streamline governance procedures. Looking further ahead, it will be vital to continue to maintain public trust and progress industry engagement, and to continue to build upon our existing research capacity. In this way the potential of the new capability will be realised for the benefit of Scotland, its economic development and, most importantly, for the optimal care of patients and health improvement of the Scottish public.


Email: Pamela Linksted

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