The University of Dundee, in collaboration with NHS Tayside, has been awarded £100,000 by The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI, to develop a new precision medicine care pathway for stroke patients with support from Storm ID, developers of the Lenus Digital Health Platform.
Every year, 15,000 people in Scotland have a stroke. This accounts for 5% budget and 7% of beds in the NHS. There is good evidence that widely used first-line medication (clopidogrel) does not work optimally in about 25% of patients who remain at increased risk of a further stroke compared with patients in whom the medication works normally. While possible to identify these patients with a simple genetic test and offer alternative treatment this does not happen routinely in the NHS.
At the same time, very large amounts of information are constantly being accumulated on patients who use the NHS. Improving use of this information to directly improve individual patient care is a major goal for the NHS. This requires getting the right kind of information about the patient to the right healthcare professional, at the right time, so that the right decisions about treatment can be made.
Using genetic information to personalise healthcare
Many people across Scotland have joined SHARE (The Scottish Health Register) and have consented to allow researchers to use left-over blood following routine clinical testing for approved research. This blood is used to obtain large amounts of genetic information about the individual. This information is used for research to understand how genetic differences between patients can be used to personalise healthcare. In a growing number of clinical situations it is already known that such information can be used to choose the most appropriate treatment following a stroke.
The 2 year project seeks to identify how available genetic information can be used to ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate drug quickly to prevent further strokes, reduce re-admission rates, support long-term rehabilitation and save lives.
The project will build on existing workstreams including work undertaken by the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside on the existing stroke information system. Storm ID will collaborate with the Health Informatics Centre on data interoperability, identifying how Storm ID’s Lenus Digital Health and Care Platform can enable secure, data exchange and deliver clinician support.
Craig Turpie, Director, Storm ID:
We’re excited about this highly collaborative project and hope to illustrate the value of enabling new types of digital health services that make use of genomic and other patient data to improve treatment. This stroke project will serve as an encouragement to look at broader potential in harnessing genomic and other patient healthcare data to deliver on the potential of precision medicine across a range of other conditions too.
Dr Alex Doney, Academic Lead, University of Dundee, said:
Making use of information in a patient’s genes to maximise the benefit and minimise the potential harm of the medicines they get prescribed has been an exciting area of clinical research for a number of years. Through a long and close partnership between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside we are able to take the first steps toward translating this research into everyday clinical practice in the NHS to enable a more personalised approach to medical therapy. I would like to acknowledge all people in Scotland who have signed up to SHARE who have helped make this initiative possible.
Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said:
Those that have experienced a stroke, whether it be first-hand, family member or friend, it can be a traumatic and long-lasting experience. To know that current medication only reduces the risk for some patients where others are left with an increased risk of another, can be life-altering.
The funding The Data Lab has provided to Storm ID and the University of Dundee will progress the project and find a treatment suitable to individuals where they can lead a worry-free life. We look forward to following the project as it develops.
Find out more about getting funding for your project from The Data Lab.