GM CHC heads to Germany to talk real world examples of Learning Health Systems

Manchester icon Greater Manchester

Posted on the 14th December 2017

Each year key stakeholders from across the health and care ecosystem gather at HIMMS Impact; a Pan-European conference that focuses on the use of ‘big data’ in transforming healthcare services for patient benefit.

For this year’s event, the organisers we’re keen to invite the Department of Health’s; Connected Health Cities programme; recognising the importance of Learning Health Systems for transforming the way Health & Social Care is delivered.

Two speakers from the Greater Manchester Connected Health City (GM CHC based at The University of Manchester) were invited to take part. Dr Vicki Palin (Research Associate for BRiT – tackling antibiotic resistance) & Dr Zoher Kapacee (Head of Operations, GM CHC) we’re invited to Potsdam, Germany to present on how CHC is using big data to informing ways in which healthcare is delivered in the North of England.

Connected Health Cities uses the Learning Health Systems research model to blend quality improvement with data science. The goal is to create an integrated health system, using routinely collected health data and discover new insights that are fed back to healthcare professionals, creating cycles of continuous improvement.

Dr Vicki Palin presented on real world examples of Learning Health Systems in development at The University of Manchester. Three projects at the University (SMASH, PINGR & BRiT) are bringing patient data together in a central platform for analysis which can then be fed back to health care professionals to improve their services and the quality of care for patients.

Vicki presented the recent progress of the BRiT project where software developers are designing a dashboard that will present GPs with their current antibiotic prescribing information. The platform will offer practices the ability to compare themselves with others in their local area, in order to share knowledge on reducing unnecessary prescribing and combat the antibiotic resistance crisis.

Vicki was delighted at the chance to share her research commenting that;


‘My presentation instigated a lot of discussion on the benefits a Learning Health System can have on the health services, but more importantly a patient’s health and wellbeing’.

Dr Vicki Palin

Dr Zoher Kapacee later joined leading figures from across the European health innovation sector in a panel discussion on what public healthcare systems are doing to build the foundation for big data research. Using GM CHC as a reference point, Zoher laid out the opportunities and challenges of a Learning Health System and discussed how GM CHC uses this methodology to find solutions to optimise health services for stroke care and antibiotic resistance.

The importance of shared learning across Europe was felt throughout the event with Zoher commenting that;

‘The pan-European complementarity associated with the development of digital healthcare ecosystems, often under collaborative federated models is thoroughly refreshing indeed. A real opportunity persists to better health and care by exploiting the utility of big data’

Dr Zoher Kapacee

To take a look back at highlights from HIMSS Impact 17 on social media, click here.

For more information please contact Katie McCall, Communications and Events Officer, GM Connected Health Cities.  Tel: 077867 908024 Email:

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