Marmite and the unparalleled power of simplification in data visualisation for clinical practice and research

Time: 11.00

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The NHS Digital Transformation Programme presents major challenges and opportunities. e-Document overload severely undermines clinical service efficiency, while analogue clinical record formats confound the ambitions of Big Health Data Science.

Working in a highly agile and iterative manner from first principles, we have built at negligible cost a transformative data visualisation system which presents the entire clinical record of each and every patient on the UHS Master Index (2M+ records) on a single desktop screen, in real time. It reduces access and clinical decision cycle times for each record from minutes to seconds. The system, UHS Lifelines, is now live across the UHS Clinical Data Estate. It provides a credible structure for a universal data visualisation and integration platform for the health records of every citizen in the UK, and for high volume analytics on anonymised data.

Using these principles and through integration with UHS Lifelines, we have also built a powerful exemplar cancer data system which updates continuously in real time. It provides episode structured "whole of disease" visualisation for some 17,000 records of locally treated breast cancer patients since the 1970s, with novel analytics methodologies. The Southampton Breast Cancer Data System (SBCDS) and its original features suggest models for practical routes to "whole of disease" studies for all chronic diseases of childhood and adulthood; and from analogue clinical records to big data analytics.


David Rew is a Consultant General Surgeon at University Hospital Southampton, which is an NHS Global Digital Exemplar Centre of Excellence; Subject Chair for Medicine on the SCOPUS Content Selection and Advisory Board; a Member of the Strategic Advisory Team of the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council; and Visiting Professor to the School of Information Technology at Southampton Solent University.

Since 2009, he has played a leading role at UHS in the development and implementation of powerful data visualisation systems within the UHS Clinical Data Environment. These include the "first in class" UHS Lifelines timeline structured and icon based Electronic Patient Record Interface, which is now live across UHS; and the derivative exemplar Southampton Breast Cancer Data System, which includes "whole of life" data visualisation on almost 17,000 clinical records.