What data do we have?

The NHS is a single publicly-funded health service for the UK which is free at the point of need to the entire population. This single healthcare system means that the UK has some of the richest health data in the world, making it possible to make national-scale improvements to health and care. Combined with unique research expertise, outstanding talent in the NHS and universities, and a vibrant life sciences industry, the UK has an opportunity to use data at scale to drive innovation, improve public health and grow the UK industry base.

PIONEER is disease-inclusive, focusing on the patient in their entirety without a disease or organ-based approach, and is ageless, including data from both children and adults. Our data is routinely collected from the electronic health record systems of participating healthcare providers and is updated at least weekly. It includes both presenting symptoms and patient demographics including (but not limited to) age, ethnicity and multimorbidity.

All serial readings of physiology – such as pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation – are included within PIONEER’s database, as well as acuity scores, laboratory results, imaging and pathology samples. This data is complemented by diagnoses, prescriptions, drug administrations and interventions. Finally, PIONEER also includes the previous and subsequent healthcare contacts which led to (or resulted from) an acute healthcare event.

PIONEER is the most complete record of the acute health care journey available for research and innovation.

PIONEER captures

Reasons for requesting unplanned medical assistance

Previous medical conditions, operations or procedures

Medications and allergies

All vital signs e.g. heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, temperature

All laboratory tests e.g. blood, sputum or urine tests

All imaging reports and copies of de-identified images e.g. chest x-rays

Complications of illness and new diagnoses e.g. heart attacks, strokes, fractures

Severity of illness e.g. admitted to intensive care, breathing or other organ support needed

Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) status.

Patient transfers within the hospital e.g. between the A&E department, wards and the Intensive Care Unit

Final outcomes e.g. discharged to their own home or a new social care setting, adverse events, death

What further outpatient care was organised e.g. referrals to clinics, physiotherapy, further tests

Data safety & security

Keeping the data safe

All the health data in PIONEER is held in a Secure Research Environment (SRE) or Safe Haven. These are highly secure places that can only be accessed by permitted members of staff. 

Data services & costs

Data licensing

Data access will be licensed. This means that researchers can only use the data for the purpose on the license, and not any other project.

Data request process & form

Making a request

Learn more about the data request process and how you can access real-time health care data to develop, test and deliver advances in clinical care.