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What is INSIGHT and why was it set up?


INSIGHT started as a research project in 2015, led by Professor Pearse Keane and Professor Sir Peng Khaw, in partnership with DeepMind Technologies and Moorfields Eye Hospital.


When Google Health acquired DeepMind, the partnership continued, and the INSIGHT data platform was created. INSIGHT has now grown to become the world’s largest ophthalmic bioresource with over 25 million retinal images and associated clinical data. The aim of the INSIGHT is to make routinely collected eye data available for health research to speed up research for new medicines and treatments, support quicker diagnoses and potentially save lives.


The project received funding from Health Data Research UK (HDRUK), which ended on 31 August 2022, along with the original Collaboration Agreement between INSIGHT’s six partner organisations. From 1 September 2022, INSIGHT became a self-sustaining NHS-led initiative between Moorfields and University Hospitals Birmingham. Moorfields is now the lead organisation, leveraging their reputation as a world-leading eye health service provider and research and education centre.


INSIGHT continues to work with HDRUK through a UK-wide ‘Hub Network and is part of the UK Health Data Research Alliance facilitated by HDRUK, which provides opportunities for influence and engagement across health data and the life sciences sector.

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.

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 Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (lead)​ and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Our partnership brings together leading expertise in eye care and health technology enabling us 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 our partner institutions. Together, the Leadership Group bring together a wealth of expertise in eye care, data management 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 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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