Leading medical research charities led by the Association of Medical Research Charities, alongside the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, launched the ‘Sharing data save lives’ campaign.
This will allow researchers to have access to the information contained within our medical records.
With valuable information that could help save and improve lives contained within them, access would contribute towards understanding the causes of disease, developing new and better treatments, better management of conditions and identifying new outbreaks of infection.
Their campaign coincides with a leaflet drop by NHS England to all 22 million households in England to explain changes in how data from our health records is collected from GP surgeries.
Under the changes, researchers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry will be able to access non-identifiable data collected from health records. Patients will be given the right to object to their data being stored within a central repository and accessed by researchers.
Dr Doug Brown Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society commented:
‘Sharing data for research purposes has the potential to save lives. The data contained within patient records is a powerful research resource, which if used responsibly and safely with proper assurances, could help us make huge progress in our search for a cure for dementia.
‘With 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and that number set to exceed 1 million by 2021, we support the use of every available tool to help speed up advancements in research for the benefit of people living with dementia.’