Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science (ACHDS)

Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science (ACHDS)

The Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science creates an environment to address the big challenges for health and health care. We bring together the skills and expertise from across health data sciences to support research, innovation and health care improvement. 

We have expertise in accessing, managing and working with complex and varied health, health care, and social care data. This includes structured administrative data, structured diagnostic data, images, laboratory tests and clinical free text letters. Additionally, we can assist researchers to access local population datasets e.g., Aberdeen Children of the 1950s (ACONF).

Collaborating with Business

The Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics (iCAIRD) is a partnership between ACHDS, NHS and Universities across Scotland, Canon Medical, and several SME Digital Technology companies (funded from 2019 until March 2023).  We have co-developed a secure NHS test bed environment to innovate in digital technologies for health care called the Safe Haven Artificial Intelligence Platform (SHAIP).  SHAIP provides industry and clinical/academic researchers with the capability of developing, training and evaluating AI algorithms on clinical images, with deidentification undertaken using Hidden in Plain Sight (HiPS) to maintain the image structure.  The platform also offers the possibility of using Natural language Processing on free text data included in clinical notes such as radiology reports. The centre also provides access to Patient and Public Involvement teams to aid with design, evaluation and implementation of AI into clinical practice. Find out more.

Grampian Data Safe Haven (DaSH)

We have an accredited Data Safe Haven (DaSH) with track record in mobilising data securely for research, which is part of a federated network of safe havens, facilitating scalability and interoperability as part of the HDR-UK data science network. We provide a secure interface for researchers and industry provisioning data from across the North and East of Scotland but are also able to host data from across the UK. Find out more.

Our Research

Collectively, our experts and research teams work with the NHS and Industry collaborators to:

  • Understand health and disease.  We are developing new methods to characterise common diseases like kidney disease, arthritis and stroke within health care data systems.
  • Map, describe and improve patient journeys through the health care system. Our researchers and clinical teams are working together with patients to describe and map their journeys to complex diagnoses like fibromyalgia and vasculitis. Our computing scientists and NHS teams are mapping the pathways, systems and data flows that underpin diagnostic services to drive innovation and system improvement.
  • Tailor care for individual patients. We are developing and evaluating methods and tools to target care better for patients for example: in fertility clinics and breast screening programmes; for people with kidney disease or cancer; for people with complex and multiple health conditions.

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