Applied informatics in south London

Our applied informatics work is aligned with the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to mainstream, digitally enabled care. ARC South London's applied informatics researchers have great strengths in developing innovative informatics, with expertise in large observational databases and linkages, decision support tools and mobile-health technologies.

How applied informatics is relevant to patients and the public

Informatics-related interventions can improve understanding and outcomes in health and care. However, barriers to their implementation and potential mitigating strategies have not been fully explored. The applied informatics theme will bring together digital developers, patients and the public, and researchers to evaluate the implementation of digital interventions into practice. 

It is vital that applied informatics research is acceptable to patients and the public. It is also important that there is strict adherence to information governance rules and principles. Our collaborative approach will build on local and national patient and public involvement (PPI), clinical, sustainability and transformation plans (STP) and digital networks.

Aims of our research

The applied informatics theme aims to provide evidence to inform the adoption of digital innovations into health and social care practice and evaluate their effect. The theme will:

  • Create an Applied Informatics Hub (AIH) to showcase digital innovations suitable for applied research
  • Develop computerised in silico strategies to evaluate new (digital and non-digital) approaches to care and assess the external validity of traditional trials to better understand their real-life applicability 
  • Develop mechanisms for public, patient and staff involvement 
  • Produce evaluations of the implementation of digital tools in improving health outcomes and reducing inequalities.

How applied informatics can help address multimorbidities and inequalities

Our ARC and digital research networks will enable analyses of multimorbidity across systems, including prompts for more equitable care. Our projects include: 

  • Determining the prevalence and outcomes of physical and mental health multimorbidity using electronic records research interfaces
  • Identifying inequalities in atrial fibrillation management and evaluate software prompts to improve outcomes 
  • Developing an algorithm for supporting the management of abnormal blood sugar stability for use in a mental health trust and piloting its feasibility and acceptability 
  • Developing and evaluating systems to identify patients with multimorbidity who may need palliative and end of life care.

Our collaborators

We are collaborating with numerous partners including other ARC South London researchers, NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), ARC East of England, One London (Local Health and Care Record Exemplars (LHCRE)) and Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK). 

Involving services users, families, carers and public

Our service user expert panel will advise on our work and will help to develop a framework to incorporate PPI into applied informatics research. We will work closely with other PPI groups at the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system, the Centre for Translational Informatics, One London LHCRE and London HDR UK. 

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