New website allow easy access to disease prevalence data in UK
A new website gives the public, health professionals and researchers easy access to data about the prevalence of all diseases in the U.K., marking a landmark achievement for global health information analysis.
A team of scientists from Cardiff University, and researchers affiliated with the University, have developed and published PrevalenceUK, the first automated platform that makes disease prevalence data in the U.K. accessible by search.
The team’s recent scientific validation work, “Real-world evidence from the first online health care analytics platform—Livingstone. Validation of its descriptive epidemiology module,” was published in the journal PLOS Digital Health.
The website uses a state-of-the art analytical platform called Livingstone to analyze routine health care data in near real-time. This platform allows processing of health data in minutes, marking a step forward in this field, as a scientific study using complex data from the NHS can take 12 to 18 months, whereas the same study can be carried using Livingstone in minutes.
The analytic engine was designed by a team of researchers from Cardiff University’s Schools of Mathematics, Medicine and Computer Sciences and Human Data Sciences. The team focuses on improving public health, aiming to deliver timely access to health information.
Professor Craig Currie, Professor of pharmacoepidemiology at Cardiff University said, “By offering instant access to vital epidemiological analysis, Livingstone and PrevalenceUK are helping us to achieve our objectives of improving health care outcomes here in the U.K. and elsewhere.
“These epidemiological studies normally take one to two years, at considerable financial cost, and only with a large team of experts. Livingstone can do the same, and better, in minutes. As a result, we have produced a user-friendly interface that allows users to filter prevalence data by disease.
“This information can assist in the creation of targeted and effective health policies, development of medical research priorities and help with the allocation of scarce health care resources.”
Dr. John Peters, former Medical Director for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, said, “We envision this as a turning point for global health information analysis. Whether you are a policy maker, a researcher, a health care provider or an interested individual, our platform provides the outputs to understand the epidemiology of diseases and how they affect our populations.
“By understanding the epidemiology of diseases in the U.K. and around the world and by being able to produce instant, scientific valid health intelligence, it becomes feasible to develop more effective treatment strategies, public health initiatives, and preventive measures.”
Benjamin R. Heywood et al, Real-world evidence from the first online healthcare analytics platform—Livingstone. Validation of its descriptive epidemiology module, PLOS Digital Health (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pdig.0000310
PLOS Digital Health
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