Research activities are core to the work of the Advanced Care Research Centre, advancing our understanding and driving forward innovation.
Research, Translation, Innovation, Engagement
The Advanced Care Research Centre will deliver world-leading inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral research, which translates into health and social care policy and practice, building and informing the development of new companies, products and services and informing the wider societal response to the challenges of population aging.
Our programmes of research, development and translation
Alongside the uniquely interdisciplinary Academy PhD programme, our work encompasses programmes of core work to deliver improvement in care in later life.
Research use of routine health and social care data is constrained by current reliance on data recorded in structured fields. However, information about physical and mental function, care needs, and social support are often recorded in free‐text. We will develop and deploy tailored Natural Language Processing and AI‐based classification methods to enhance existing routine data with functional and other data extracted from free‐text clinical records.
We need to better understand how individuals and their families experience later life, highlighting an approach to care that promotes continuing social participation and active citizenship, reflecting that we will almost all be carers and cared for at different times of our lives. Our ambition is to help maintain quality of life and sense of self for the individual as they experience different stages of later life, ensuring we understand the context and the physical, social and economic environments that are needed to provide this.
There has been explosive growth in the amount of health and social care structured data collected and made available for research, with Scotland benefiting from long-standing use of a unique individual identifier across multiple relevant platforms. We will analyse these data to develop new insights into health, vulnerability and care in later life. We will also rapidly develop tools to better predict future individual trajectories and vulnerability in order to more effectively target interventions.
Care in later life in the community is typically low-tech and data-poor. We will create a large-scale ‘community collaboratory’ for developing, evaluating and translating into practice multiple new technologies of care. Our initial aim is to develop and validate machine learning/AI prediction of short-term deterioration, and to develop and evaluate health and social care interventions in response to signals of early deterioration in order to improve outcomes.
Care now is often delivered as discrete services that are variably integrated and largely reactive to events rather than responsive to the wishes, priorities and needs of individual people in later life. We will work with health and social care partners to both understand and evaluate existing service innovation, and to co-create new models of care which are responsive to individual circumstance and which flexibly incorporate new data-driven prediction tools and new technologies of care.
Stakeholder engagement programme
We will use multiple channels of engagement and dissemination to stimulate a broad, informed debate about how the health and care sector and wider society should respond to the growing challenge of an ageing population. The aim is to assemble the expertise, evidence and environment to create the ‘go to’ source for care policymakers seeking insight and inspiration.