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What is INSIGHT and why was it set up?


INSIGHT is a health data research hub focused on eye health and associated conditions. We are one of a group of hubs set up with the support of Health Data Research UK, the national institute for health data science. The hubs were established to speed up research for new medicines and treatments, support quicker diagnoses and potentially save lives.

The health data research hubs are funded by UK Research and Innovation's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with the aim of creating a UK-wide system for the safe and responsible use of health-related data.

We are committed to involving the public and patients in how INSIGHT works and its decision-making process. Find out more about our public and patient involvement and engagement.

Close-up of an OCT machine in use by a technician performing a scan


The benefits of INSIGHT

Our guiding principle is to benefit patients, the NHS and the wider public through the development of new insights in disease detection, diagnosis, treatments and personalised healthcare.

We will achieve this by allowing trusted researchers to access high quality, large-scale and anonymised health data. This will allow them to use advanced analytics, including artificial intelligence, on many types of eye imaging and associated patient health records.

The data will be available through INSIGHT from March 2021. However, this type of research is well established, and has already led to breakthroughs in a number of areas of medicine. Our aim is to encourage and accelerate this work, and ultimately transform the way eye disease and other associated conditions are diagnosed and managed.



Our collaboration partners

INSIGHT is a collaboration between six partners from the public sector, industry and academia:

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (lead)

  • Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

  • The University of Birmingham

  • Roche

  • Google

  • Action Against AMD (founded by Fight for Sight, Macular Society, Blind Veterans UK, Scottish War Blinded, Royal Blind)

These partners bring together the leading expertise in eye care, health technology and data management. By combining expertise from the NHS, academia and commercial organisations, we have the ability to innovate and progress in a way that no single organisation, public or private, could achieve on its own. 

Moorfields Eye Hospital staff standing next to each other looking at documents: David Probert CEO and Gordon Hay, Deputy Director of Education
Stock image of black compass

INSIGHT Leadership Group


INSIGHT is made up of a core Leadership Group drawn from across our six partner institutions. Together, the Leadership Group bring together a wealth of expertise in eye care, data management, pharmaceuticals and patient involvement and engagement.


The INSIGHT Data Trust Advisory Board


Our Data Trust Advisory Board (DataTAB) is a key part of our governance, and has been set up to provide ethical oversight to everything we do.

The DataTAB is made up of ten members from a range of complementary backgrounds. Their role is to scrutinise users’ requests to access the data held by INSIGHT. This ensures that the views of patients and the public are represented where it matters – at the heart of the decision-making process about who is allowed to access the data held by INSIGHT, and under what conditions.

Six arms holding each other in a circle above a patch of grass
Patient undergoing an eye examination using a split lamp


Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement (PPIE)

We are committed to ensuring that the views of patients and the public inform decision-making at every level as we develop our systems and processes. In addition, transparency is one of our core principles: about how INSIGHT works, how decisions are made, and the outcome of requests to access patient data.

INSIGHT is also committed to maximising value to patients and the public by ensuring that future research findings from all studies conducted using INSIGHT data are published in an appropriate and timely way.  



Images (top to bottom): 1) Close-up of an OCT machine in use, 2019. Credit: Moorfields Eye Hospital (library shot); 2) Senior staff at Moorfields (David Probert, left, and Gordon Hay, right), 2018. Credit: Anton Webb / UCL Institute of Ophthalmology; 3) Hands joined in a circle. Credit:; 4) Stock image from; 5) Patient undergoing an eye examination using a split lamp at Moorfields, 2018. Credit: Anton Webb / UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Please note, photos of people in shared spaces without facemasks pre-date the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.

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