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The Oxford Institute for Digital Health's aims and objectives

Generating powerful new evidence from electronic health records

Creating a dedicated space for applied digital health research in Oxford will bring together a critical mass of medical statisticians, health economists, epidemiologists and software coders to fully capitalise on the recent convergence of some of the world’s largest and longest established electronic health record databases.

This will create an open facility for:

  • Smarter, larger and more robust studies of routine patient data.
  • The UK surveillance of common diseases.
  • The creation of within practice systems and dashboards to provide up-to-date feedback on prescribing.
  • A new UK electronic clinical trials platform.

Read more about our big data research.

Developing and evaluating digital services that meet real clinical and patient needs

The Oxford Institute for Digital Health will support the delivery of a new generation of digital services that are tried and tested in real clinical settings and meet the needs of clinicians, patients and health care managers.

Developing and evaluating technologies in ways that consider by the economic and patient perspective will ensure new, cost-effective digital platforms are informed by in-depth understanding of how and why digital technology gets used by health services and citizens. This will create a suite of sustainable digital tools which are integrated with UK primary care electronic health records, that have full NHS compliance, and are supported by an understanding of how they can scale-up across complex health systems.

Read more about our digital health research.


building on strong collaborations across health and care

Translation of applied research to patient benefit will be accelerated via some of the department’s significant research partnerships, which include:

In addition, the department houses a registered Clinical Trials Unit which specialises in community recruitment, led by Professor Chris Butler.

The Institute builds on strong collaborations with all accredited GP software suppliers, the RCGP, Public Health England, NHS Digital and the Office of National Statistics. It also aims to work with the UK Government and in particular the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, including via the UK HealthTech Advisory Board, chaired by Dr Ben Goldacre.

Further existing links will be strengthened with the UK’s NIHR Primary Care Research Network at national and regional levels, and with the many individual general practices

education and training

The Institute provides an enhanced interface between its world-class research facilities and teaching through the co-location of primary care undergraduate teaching and Master’s programmes in Global Healthcare Leadership, Translational Health Sciences and Evidence-Based Health Care.

In addition, the Institute is launching a new Master’s programme in Applied Digital Health to build a competent and skilled workforce that can bridge the knowledge gap between healthcare and digital technologies.