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COVID-19 response

Data analysis, modelling and management

Accurate analysis and management of data 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for data analysis and support for remote working generated many requests for our experience and knowledge in data science.   

NPL helped the Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre to produce their regular updates on communicable and respiratory diseases for Public Health England throughout 2020. We also worked with the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust on supporting the remote working for as many staff as possible, not something that had been a priority before the pandemic.

NPL offered help to the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust by analysing different kinds of medical data. This included optimising hospital flow and the cancer diagnostic pathways, as well as understanding the cause and effect of thrombosis in COVID-19 patients though biomarker clustering. 

NPL was heavily involved in testing PPE, a process that often involved several testing iterations as designs were refined. Data science allowed certain tests to be simulated, such as field of view tests, so that the computer model could predict if a design would pass the test. This helped streamline the testing and gave confidence that the PPE would pass the tests.  

NPL also investigated:

  • Using signal analysis of telephone calls to GPs or 111 to diagnose COVID-19 by analysing the acoustic signals of breathing and coughing
  • Analysing the link between mortality or diagnosed COVID-19 cases with air quality data to understand the impact of pollution.

If you would like to discuss further, please contact us.

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The Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre

The Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre (RCGP RSC) produces reports twice a week for Public Health England on Communicable and Respiratory Disease, using data from GP practices across the country. The COVID-19 crisis meant that the production of the weekly reports became extremely important and was more complex due to the increasing volume of data and cases of COVID-19 being reported.

NPL reached out to the Oxford-RCGP RSC offering help and resource, which was gratefully accepted. Four NPL scientists worked with the Oxford-RCGP RSC team from March to December 2020 to assist them in the provision and extension of the primary care national surveillance reports, as well as adding resilience to their team.

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFL) approached NPL with a number of data analysis and modelling issues that needing addressing to help them manage successfully during the pandemic. These included:

  • extracting the maximum amount of reliable data from biomarkers tests
  • analysing the critical pathways in cancer care to meet the anticipated increase in demand post-COVID
  • preparing buildings for safe and efficient movement of patients and staff around hospital sites while adhering to the government guidelines.

Find out more about our work with RFL

Impact during COVID-19

  • Enabled organisations to operate effectively while responding to the pandemic and adhering to government social distancing guidelines
  • Accelerated the pace of data analysis
  • Enabled complex analysis of data and greater understanding of uncertainty

NPL has a broad range of related activities

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