It is well known that EPR data are hard for users to get to grips with. We are addressing this problem by developing innovative visualisation tools to help medical researchers explore primary care EHR data in an intuitive and interactive manner.

In the first stage of this work we have developed the core PREP tool (cPt), which enables researchers to interactively view coded and free text records. Based on the open source SIMILE timeline widget, and currently populated with the GPRD records for some 700 patients (344 diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 355 with rheumatoid arthritis), the cPt provides a graphical presentation of the medical history of individual patients. Histories are displayed on a timeline, whose events can be automatically filtered or highlighted in response to criteria (e.g., symptom, diagnosis, etc.) selected by the user/researcher. Already, members of the PREP team have been able to utilise this facility to explore the contribution of information held in the free text fields of patient records on issues such as (a) establishing the date of a diagnosis, (b) revealing age-related differences in the dating of diagnoses, and a number of other related issues.

Using the cPt as a baseline, we are currently developing a visualisation tool with extended functionality (e.g., ability to 'drill down' from displayed events to their data source, inclusion of causal links), and an enhanced user interface (more intuitive, more interactive, more novel). These extensions are being informed by detailed studies with a cohort of 'typical' GPRD users.

For further information please click for the Visualisation publications

Workstream Participants:
Donia Scott (co-workstream leader) and Rosemary Tate (co-workstream leader); Aishath Ali; Des Watson; Leon Barker; Lesley Axelrod; Paul Thomas; Geraldine Fitzpatrick

Relevant Links:
Timeline example