PHE Conference and ISPE mid-year meeting

10 Apr 2017

by Andreia Leite.

Members of the electronic health records (EHR) group have recently attended two conferences:  Public Health England (PHE) Research and Applied Epidemiology Scientific Conference 2017 and ISPE 2017 mid-year meeting. In both, researchers from the group presented work using data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD).

PHE conference joined professionals working in epidemiology and public health, to support high quality and innovative science. In this conference several researchers from the group had the chance to present work developed under the Health Protect Research Unit in Immunisation. This included assessment of rotavirus vaccine effectiveness, determinants of zoster vaccine uptake, methods for surveillance of vaccine safety, and use of CPRD to identify pregnancies and its use in vaccine-related research.

Presence from research using CPRD was not exclusive from EHR group members: other researchers presented studies covering a variety of topics, such as impact of opioid substitution treatment and incidence of osteoarthritis. The wide range of topics covered points out the importance of the EHR data in the research landscape in the UK.

The presence of EHR-related research went beyond the presentation of EHR group and other research groups. Professor Andrew Hayward, in one of the plenary sessions focused on the importance of adapting training in epidemiology and statistics to the new world of big data (include EHR), which requires specific skills.

ISPE meeting brought together professionals from all over the world working in the field of pharmacoepidemiolgy. It included plenary sessions and presentations from PhD students. Again, members from the EHR had the chance to present their work using CPRD data. Andreia Leite and Francis Nissen presented some results of their PhD projects. Andreia showed some promising results in implementing near real-time vaccine safety surveillance using CPRD data, while Francis shared his work validating recording of asthma using the same data. Students from several research-leading institutions also shared their work using CPRD data. Examples include researchers from Switzerland looking at protective effect of statins and researchers from Canada looking at adverse effects of therapies used for prostatic cancer. Others used EHR from other countries, such as the USA.

On the other hand, there was extensive discussion on the use of new sources of data, such as patient generated data, data from wearable devices, and social media. Research using these new data sources is still at an early development stage but there is a lot of interest and expectation. These data sources will provide information not currently captured by EHR, such as quality of life related measures. One of the exciting projects entitled “Cloudy with a chance of pain” will help address the question whether chronic pain is associated with weather conditions and includes a dedicated phone app to collect data.

Attending both conferences confirmed the interest in the use of electronic health records both in the UK and worldwide, which enable researchers to address a variety of research questions. It also emphasized the importance of fostering new data sources, which can complement existing ones and contribute to a better knowledge.

Below you can find information of the presentations by EHR group member in both conferences.

Presenter Title Conference
Jemma Walker Assessing rotavirus vaccine: Huge impact but where’s the effectiveness? Public Health England (PHE) Research and Applied Epidemiology Scientific Conference 2017
Anu Jain Double inequities: the role of social determinants on zoster disease burden and vaccine uptake in England Public Health England (PHE) Research and Applied Epidemiology Scientific Conference 2017
Andreia Leite Implementing near-real time vaccine safety surveillance using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Public Health England (PHE) Research and Applied Epidemiology Scientific Conference 2017
Sara Thomas New tool for identifying pregnancies in electronic health data and its use in vaccine-related research Public Health England (PHE) Research and Applied Epidemiology Scientific Conference 2017
Andreia Leite Implementing near-real time vaccine safety surveillance using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink – is there enough power? ISPE 2017 mid-year meeting
Francis Nissen Validation of the recording of asthma diagnosis in UK electronic health records (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) ISPE 2017 mid-year meeting