The new project—FAIR TREATMENT: Federated Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Research across Trusted Research Environments for Child and Adolescent Mental Health— will uncover and test early thinking in the development of a joined-up and trustworthy national data research network, using the early intervention in the mental health of young people as a case study
Negative aspects of a young person’s life can lead to poor mental health. However, services are stretched so often intervene late, leaving young people to suffer with longer lasting or more severe problems.
It is possible to spot patterns showing where professional help is needed early. However, this is difficult as the information needed is secured in different places – for example, across health, education and social care records – and falls under the remit of different UK Research and Innovation research councils (such as the Medical Research Council or the Economic and Social Research Council).
The main problems are:
1. Predictive models aren’t accurate enough: there are difficulties linking different types of data together, potentially resulting in many important risk or resilience factors being missed.
2. Models built in one place may not be effective in others: we need a way to securely analyse data from different places.
3. There is no agreement on how to make sure data are managed safely, fairly and transparently
To solve these problems, this research will:
1. Combine two new technologies to demonstrate it is possible to analyse data across trusted research environments in different places (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Essex and Birmingham) and preserve individual privacy.
2. Consult with patients, the public, organisations contributing data and legal/ethics experts to agree the best way to oversee data use, ensuring it’s managed safely and fairly.
The project, led by the Department of Psychiatry, brings together an exciting group of partners: the Department of Genetics (InterMine), University of Birmingham, University of Essex, The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Cambridgeshire County Council, Eastern AHSN, Bitfount, Kaleidoscope and AIMES.
Principal investigator: Dr Anna Moore, University of Cambridge
Funders: UKRI/MRC, in partnership with ADR UK, HDR UK, and DARE UK
Funded amount: £342,708
Towards early identification of young people’s mental health problems
The Timely project works to develop digital tools to identify young people’s mental health problems using linked health, social care and education data, and exploring the value of machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches.
We are working with the public and those with lived experience to understand the acceptability of the approach and taking a systems thinking approach to understand how best to design and implement the tool to maximise uptake and impact on individuals.
Timely is led by Dr Anna Moore
NIHR Anna Freud Clinical Lecturer in Child Psychiatry
This work was done as part of a UKRI/MRC/ESRC Adolescence and the developing mind engagement award and is part of the NIHR EoE Applied Research Collaboration