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Data Saves Sight

NHS patient data is enabling sight-saving research through INSIGHT - the Health Data Research Hub programme for eye health led by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

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A blue background with white logos for Moorfields eye hospital and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trusts
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Where does our data come from?

Across the NHS, 25 million images of the eye are created every year, representing an unrivalled resource for research using techniques like machine learning.

The data available through INSIGHT comes from two NHS foundation trusts: Moorfields Eye Hospital and University Hospitals Birmingham. It has been routinely collected from thousands of patients over many years, and forms some of the largest eye datasets in the world. You can find details of the data in our Researcher Area.

Before the datasets are made available for research, all identifying information (such as names and addresses) is removed. Data from patients who have opted out of sharing their health data for research is also removed.  

Is my data being used?

Data is collected from all patients receiving routine care at Moorfields Eye Hospital and University Hospitals Birmingham - except those who have opted out of sharing data for research purposes.


Each patient's data contributes to research and discovery efforts to develop new treatments and improve care. To find out about the latest advances, visit our news page.

The INSIGHT research database continues to be refreshed as anonymised data from more patients is added. This ensures data accuracy and richness to address research questions.

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Your data, your choice

​As part of the national data opt-out, INSIGHT respects any individual's right to opt out from the use of their health data for medical research.

To opt out of sharing your patient data for all research and planning purposes (including INSIGHT), visit the NHS website.

The INSIGHT database is updated regularly to remove the data of patients who have opted out of data-sharing via the NHS national opt-out.

What happens to your data?

Click through the slides below to discover the journey your data takes, from your visit to the eye hospital to being part of groundbreaking research. You can also access and download a comprehensive guide to how patient data is used for research in the NHS. The guide has been prepared by Understanding Patient Data.

Patient Data Journey

1. Your data is collected at the hospital.

2. Your personal information is removed.

3. Data from many patients can be collated to form large, anonymised datasets.

4. Researchers may apply for access to use data.

5. Patients and public representatives are involved in assessing data use applications.

6. If an application is approved and meets governance requirements, access to data is granted.

7. A list of approved data use applications is published on our website.

8. Research using large-scale data can lead to breakthroughs for the benefit of patients and wider society.

Get Involved

We welcome involvement from patients, their families and carers in deciding how data is used in research. If you have questions or would like to be part of our patient & public representative group, please complete the contact form below or phone us on 020 7253 2311 ext. 6304.

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