Technology Ecosystem

Health Data Research UK is dedicated to uniting and advancing innovative technical solutions for accelerated and trustworthy data research. Despite progress, accessing and analysing health data remains fragmented. This is primarily due to the fact that data sits in silos across the UK, which, whilst promoting data security and relevance of access, means that in order to achieve a UK-wide scientific picture, researchers must access multiple environments and replicate analyses iteratively over long periods of time. As well as having to deal with multiple access points from a technical perspective, which do not always conform to the same software specifications and data formats, governance and access pathways also differ between data providers and infrastructure.

The HDR UK Technology Ecosystem initiative aims to bridge these gaps, fostering collaboration and accelerating discoveries. HDR UK is revolutionising how researchers access and analyse health data, ultimately delivering faster benefits to patients and the public.

The technology ecosystem is made up of several connecting parts: Community, People, Beyond Health, Standards for Interoperability, Science of Infrastructure and Technology Solutions. Find out more on the HDR UK website.

Swansea University is a partner organisation as part of the technology ecosystem, particularly with regard to developing and deploying federated analytics solutions to develop capability in UK-wide data science. This incorporates Swansea’s expertise in hosting and developing trusted research environments (TREs) and research data infrastructure.

Federated analytics describes the ability to analyse data held in multiple physical locations through a single delivery point, and initiatives are underway in the UK to address the technical elements needed to achieve such delivery and create a network of participating data providers and infrastructure. Working alongside the universities of Nottingham, Manchester, and Dundee, the federated analytics group hopes to develop technical capability, building on the initial pilots of the Data and Analytics Research Environments UK (DARE UK) programme, and create a network of health and administrative data providers and infrastructure which could in future be accessed through initial data federation and subsequent federated analytics.

Professor Simon Thompson, HDR UK Wales:

By uniting innovative technical solutions, the Technology Ecosystem at Health Data Research UK is paving the way for accelerated and trustworthy data usage in research. We are breaking down barriers and fostering collaboration to create novel solutions that promote open science and interoperability. Through this collaborative approach, we are transforming the landscape of health data research, enabling researchers to rapidly deliver tangible benefits to patients and the public.

Research Infrastructure Team based in HDR UK Wales
  • Professor Simon Thompson
  • Chris Orton
  • Secure eResearch Platform (SeRP)