Artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies are transforming research and healthcare. We want to make sure everyone benefits from health data innovation. To achieve this, we are investing £75 million in a five-year programme on data for science and health.

Why it's important

AI can bring significant opportunities in:

  • better detection and diagnosis of diseases
  • faster drug discovery
  • better care delivery.

AI projects already receive a significant amount of funding near clinical application. But there are challenges much earlier on in the process and these barriers hinder innovation:

  • unrepresentative datasets
  • lack of public trust
  • health data can be messy and complex
  • lack of data science capacity worldwide. 

What we want to achieve

Data, tools, governance, skills and public trust are crucial for unblocking data innovation, but these are often under-valued and neglected. This is where our new programme on data for science and health can have most impact. 

We aim to: 

  • engage society to build people’s trust, understanding and participation in health data innovation  
  • equip and motivate data scientists to innovate with health data for public good.

Our programme will be global, we want to ensure that low and middle-income countries are able to benefit from innovation with health data. As well as working with partners in the UK, USA and Europe, we will capitalise on Wellcome’s existing footprint, and existing data science capacity in South and Eastern Africa and India. 

Why Wellcome?

We already have expertise in funding research and innovation with health data. We can bring a cross-discipline approach to the challenge that includes ethics, advocacy, behavioural change, education and public engagement. We will work in partnership with a wide range of organisations around the world to achieve our aims. 

What we are doing now

We are currently working with Hetco Design on a landscape analysis to identify and classify the key contributors – software developers and thought leaders – in this sector.

Learn more about the analysis

Grant funding

The data for health programme is still in its planning stages so there won’t be any funding calls in the near future.

Our team

  • Chantal Wood, Programme Manager
  • Natalie Banner, Understanding Patient Data lead
  • Donna James, Team Co-ordinator

Contact us

DataForScienceAndHealth@wellcome.ac.uk.

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