Eight out of 23 newly funded research projects in Wales, funded by Health and Care Research Wales, are to use SAIL Databank based in Population Data Science at Swansea University in their pursuit to uncover potentially life-saving insights into a range of health and social care challenges. These key investments from their 2020-21 funding call are designed to ‘fund high-quality research that addresses different research needs across Wales’.
In response to the announcement, SAIL Databank Director and Professor of Informatics at Swansea University Medical School, Professor David Ford, said, “The commitment and investment from Health and Care Research Wales over the years has enabled SAIL Databank to grow and develop its data assets, data support services and its secure analytical environment. As a result, we are able to offer the research community a first-class data service that has helped to position Wales as a leader in the field of population data science research. We’re excited to be collaborating with world-class researchers on these newly funded projects announced by Health and Care Research Wales and look forward to seeing the benefits they bring to the patients and people of Wales.”
Senior Researcher and Data Scientist of Population Data Science at Swansea University, Ashley Akbari, who will be supporting many of the projects added, “Anyone around the world with the relevant skills and experience in utilising population-scale “big data” is welcome to apply to use the SAIL Databank, and its world leading platform. We are so pleased that with a great number of these funded projects, we have been invited to be partners in the projects, and directly collaborate and contribute our expertise and experience from the Population Data Science group at Swansea University. We cannot wait to get started!”
Containing billions of anonymised, individual-level population-scale records, SAIL Databank is a world leading Trusted Research Environment (TRE). SAIL Databank has been core-funded by a Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure grant since 2007 with additional support from the Economic and Social Research Council.
Accredited to the highest international standards, SAIL Databank exists to improve lives by providing researchers with secure, linkable and anonymised data that can be accessed and analysed from anywhere in the world. SAIL Databank is entrusted with a wealth of population-scaled data, some of which reaches back a quarter of a century or more. It contains 80% coverage of general practice data and 100% secondary care data for the population of Wales, including a wealth of demographic, administrative, health and social care data.
These eight studies will explore the use of multiple data sources held securely in the SAIL Databank TRE and will work collaboratively with centres of excellence in the Population Data Science group at Swansea University. Supported by SAIL’s technological platform, SeRP (Secure eResearch Platform), these projects will directly access SAIL data with support from its core service teams, including experts in data science, analytics and governance specialists.
We asked some of the funded projects to tell us more about their research…
Other funded projects using SAIL Databank include…
- Dr Richard Fry, Swansea University – Mapping service cold spots from COVID-19 lockdowns. Supported by NCPHWR.
- Julie Peconi, Swansea University – Sunproofed: A mixed methods evaluation of sun safety policies in primary schools in Wales
- Rebecca Thomas, Swansea University – The impact of cessation of screening for diabetic eye disease on people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Ceri Battle, Swansea Bay University Health Board – Clinical and cost effectiveness of an early exercise programme on chronic pain and health-related quality of life following blunt chest wall trauma: A parallel, randomised controlled trial (ELECT2 trial).
Congratulations to all those involved in these newly funded research projects!
BY CHRIS ROBERTS, SWANSEA UNIVERSITY