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Data, diagnostics and decision tools

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Theme leads

Professor Jon Deeks

Data, Diagnostics and Decision Tools Theme Lead

Professor Alastair Denniston

Data, Diagnostics and Decision Tools Theme Lead

Ensuring diagnostic tool accuracy, regulating AI and digital health tech, and using ethical large-scale data infrastructure to transform healthcare.

Experimental medicine research studies increasingly rely on signals of disease (‘biomarkers’) or medical tests, which may help in diagnosis, prediction of a health outcome or relevant measurements to a patient’s condition. These tests and biomarkers are so fundamental to both research and clinical care, that we need to be confident they accurately and reliably measure what we need them to. Our work helps ‘test the tests’, enabling researchers, health staff and regulators to be sure that a diagnostic test, biomarker or prognostic model is fit-for-purpose.

Our commitment to patient and public safety is underlined by our investigation into home testing kits, highlighting current gaps in regulation that need to be addressed to ensure only sufficiently accurate, high-quality tests are available on the high street. Similarly, we are working with regulators, innovators and the public to evaluate and regulate AI health technologies, to ensure they work safely and effectively for everyone. Our theme also provides an integrated, ethical data infrastructure to drive experimental medicine and translate it efficiently, for patient benefit.

We host both local and national data hubs (Research Data Hubs – University Hospitals Birmingham) which are patient-partnered resources, governed by the NHS and with public representatives overseeing data access decisions. Using the DEXTER data platform, which can accelerate discovery and support better treatment decisions, we have built a tool that can automate many parts of traditional clinical trials. We work across the whole BRC, accelerating benefits of data-driven discovery, translation and digital innovation for patients and communities.