Imperial Health Knowledge Bank (IHKB) offers patients the opportunity to participate in research

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Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has launched a new research resource that will provide every patient with an easy opportunity to be part of research and contribute to the advancement of medical science.

The Imperial Health Knowledge Bank (IHKB) is a database of patients who are willing to be contacted directly about clinical trials and studies that could be relevant to them and who have agreed for the Trust to collect and store their health information and samples for research.

Successful pilot

Patients across oncology, hepatology and cardiology have already been offered the opportunity to join the IHKB as part of a successful pilot project, which will be expanded across the whole Trust in the coming weeks.

Once patients agree to take part, they will be added to our database of people who are interested in taking part in future health research. The system will also automatically pull information from their medical notes, collected as part of their routine care including details of their conditions, medicines they are taking or treatments they may have, as well as their outcomes.

Patients who decide to take part in the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank will also have the option to provide a blood sample that is stored alongside their other data. This will be ordered automatically and taken at the next routine appointment, requiring no additional visits to the hospital.

The data will then be stored safely and securely in the Trust’s secure data environment.

Commenting on the project’s rollout across the Trust, Professor Bob Klaber, director of strategy, research and innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Our ambition is that every patient and every staff member has an opportunity to participate in research. The Imperial Health Knowledge Bank is a major step forward in that ambition and an exciting development for the research landscape at the Trust.”

Data for research

Researchers at the Trust and from our partner organisations will be able to request to invite patients in the database to participate in a research study, or to have access to the data and samples for research studies that could improve care or even lead to new treatments. Access will be approved through a committee involving patient representatives, clinicians and academics.

Director of the NIHR Imperial BRC, Professor Mark Thursz, said: “To better understand health and improve care, we need a continually updated and rich resource of medical data from real-life patient interactions. IHKB will provide our patients with an opportunity to get right to the heart of medical science and play a role in the development of new treatments, drugs and tests that could have a huge impact on the lives of others.”

IHKB is funded by the NIHR Imperial BRC, a translational research partnership between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London, which was awarded £95m in 2022 to continue developing new experimental treatments and diagnostics for patients.

Patients will receive a text message inviting them to join the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank in the coming months and can also sign up by contacting the team.

To find out more or join the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank, visit the webpage or contact the team directly via email at or phone at 07795334835.