Information for investigators on using patient data for research

Our Clinical and Research Informatics Unit (CRIU) was set up to provide a robust, accountable and transparent approach to the analysis of clinical data to support operations, clinical decision making and research.

The CRIU guides clinical and academic staff on how to seek permission to access and use data obtained from healthcare records for research and service quality improvement.

The CRIU is a partnership between University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and supports broad aspects of data sciences, both operational and research. These include electronic health records, -omics, imaging, wearables, natural language processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and information governance. Improving current research commitments and allowing potential new clinical research outcomes to be developed are also central to the CRIU’s remit.

Two major objectives for the CRIU are to:

  • establish a data analytics platform to allow clinical data from a variety of sources to be collated, with the aim to support clinical research
  • produce a data request portal (Data Explorer) that can be used by clinicians and researchers to request access to research datasets. The catalogue also helps us ensure that legal and ethical requirements are met when data is used for research.