Iain’s research is driven by both methodological adventure and tackling problems where informatics and data sciences can deliver most public health benefit.
He uses his interdisciplinary experience to lead a highly integrated team of methodologists working across carefully selected areas of application. He nurtures methodological publications not only in health informatics but also in biostatistics and computer science. For example, giving rise to “Research Objects” and “e-Labs” as way to scale up health data analytics, which has subsequently thrived by computer science collaborators pursuing it generically (www.researchobject.org). Similarly, he brought together machine learning and biostatistical approaches to the analysis of complex longitudinal data, leading to substantial data-accelerated discoveries. This work, combined with the e-Lab methodology has led to birth cohorts joining forces with both inductive and deductive research over shared data sources in on-line digital laboratories.
Iain’s choices of research problems remain rooted in the needs of patients and communities. For example patient safety research his team has publish extensively on new computational approaches to clinical audit & feedback, winning prizes at international conferences and deploying practical solutions into the NHS. From an initial focus on the primary-secondary care interface, he has pioneered health system-wide analytics, encompassing social care, public health and wider civic data. For example, he conceived the Connected Health Cities programme that is now in pilots across North England (www.connectedhealthcities.org). He team have also spun out social and commercial enterprises, for example in mobile symptom monitoring (www.clintouch.com) and clinical trials linked to electronic health records (www.nweh.co.uk).