Learning Health Systems – MIE 2016

The first day of Medical Informatics Europe 2016 for me consisted of a tutorial led by Dr Niels Peek and Dr Evan Kontopantelis from the University of Manchester on the topic of Learning Health Systems followed by two very interesting Keynotes from Martin McKee and Andre Kushniruk.

First, Learning Health Systems.  The original concept was developed by the Institute of Medicine in the US in 2007:

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Since then, the concept has been adopted for several large research studies such as the PCORI network in the US and the Transform EU project. In Manchester Neils and Evan are using the concept in their research using CPRD and other large UK health databases through the Health e-Research Centre.

Our research group at Oxford has also been looking into Learning Health Systems, particularly for use in low-resource settings such as Kenya and we recently published a paper in PLOS Medicine about this opportunity.

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The MIE Learning Health Systems tutorial highlighted a number of great resources and concepts which I tweeted as the tutorial progressed. Niels was first presenting on the original concepts and research about learning health systems:




Niels was also kind enough to package up all the tutorial resources including the research papers mentioned and has shared them on Twitter:

Dr Kontopantelis’s presentation gave a great overview of the statistical issues relating to learning health systems:

After the tutorial, we had two great keynotes to kick off the conference proper. The first by Martin McKee was a very entertaining overview of the political economy of health:

Prof McKee’s speech generated lots of questions and discussion about how politics impacts on healthcare from the audience and also on twitter:

The second keynote was a very good overview of current usability methods by Prof Andre Kushnurik:

Andre is a guru of UX research in healthcare and it was great to hear that he has two (two!) new books coming out in early 2017:



I’m looking forward to business meetings with IMIA colleagues today and another interesting keynote this afternoon. Stay tuned…


Scoble Interveiws Christopher Longhurst

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/10/PID_012771/Podtech_StanfordDoctor.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/4325/the-it-doctor-is-in &totalTime=2838000&breadcrumb=06f71d290f3b4d6d9dd6fa5d2402e4d5]

Robert Scoble and Christopher Longhurst chat about Electronic Health Records at Stanford. They discuss the importants of standards and interoperability of medical devices. Great video!

Link to the post on Scobleizer

Link to a shorter version of the interview

The NHS IT Project

NHS IT ProjectMy new Health Informatics books have arrived. The first one I’m tackling is ‘The NHS IT Project’ by Sean Brennan.

This book is a great read so far. I particularly enjoyed the vignettes from the point of view of Patient, GP and Consultant. The idea of discovering each morning that yet another patient has been placed on a inappropriate ward on the far end of the hospital and marching the whole medical team down there for a quick check up rang very true. I also remembered a conversation with my registrar who told me not to expect electronic patient records in either of our lifetimes… How quickly things have changed! We now have the NHS NPfIT ‘appearing like an army out of the dark’ to quote the book.

The book goes on to describe the basic structure of the NHS and how the ‘legacy’ systems (many actually only recently introduced) formed the pre-NPfIT NHS IT landscape. Further explanation of the programme and it’s possible benefits and drawbacks are discussed in the latter sections of the book.

The style of writing makes this a very interesting book to read and is highly recommended for anyone interested in health IT projects. If you want to read a sample of the book check out the preview on Google Books.