Marc Farr, Founder of Beautiful Information and Director of Information for East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, writes about the potential offered by linked data sets for population health management.

“A huge amount of data already exists, and thanks to the Internet of Things, which connects everyday objects via the internet, more data is becoming available.

“For example, imagine a set of scales that calculates an individual’s BMI and sends it to their GP. If you link that information with data from their supermarket loyalty card, which will show dietary habits, and tie that in with socio- economic and hospital data you can start to plan services around that person.

“At East Kent Hospitals we’re looking to link police and NHS data to create a model that can predict domestic violence. The police has people it thinks are in danger, but doesn’t know how often these people are going to hospital. Sharing that data could be invaluable in predicting abuse. At Beautiful Information we’re concentrating our efforts around the early detection of cancer, in the context of the new NHS Long Term Plan.

“Linked data sets clearly have a vital role to play in population health management and the

Kent Integrated Data Set (KIDS) is already providing us with some fascinating insights.

“The plan is to replicate the KIDS across the region and nationally, and Beautiful Information and KSS AHSN are at the forefront of that movement.”