Centres to use health records for research

Four UK centres of excellence in electronic health research are to be set up by the end of the year.

A partnership of 10 government and charity funders will establish the centres in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea, thanks to an investment of £19m, with the aim of putting health records at the heart of medical research.

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Each centre will do cutting-edge research which links electronic health records with other forms of research and data, investigating a range of health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Researchers aim to identify more effective treatments, improve drug safety, assess risks to public health and study the causes of diseases and disability.

The four centres are funded by groups including Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.