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ARC East Midlands Theme Lead co-develops new animation showcasing statistical methodology

A leading Leicester-based professor has worked with the local Biomedical Research Centre to develop a digital animation illuminating the profound influence patient feedback can have in statistical research.

Professor Laura Gray has collaborated with a wider team from the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and public contributors to produce an animation that demystifies statistical methodology and underscores the paramount significance of public involvement.

This far-reaching animation is being shared through the NIHR YouTube channel and other platforms, with the aspiration of inspiring greater public engagement in research and shaping the trajectory of the future.

Working in the prevention and management of long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Professor Gray is the Theme Lead for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midland’s Data2Health project.

Professor Gray is also the co-leader of Leicester BRC’s Data Innovation for Multiple Long Term Health Conditions theme.

Speaking about her passion for data, she said: “Did you know that the tools we use to look at numbers can change the world.

“How we collect, look at and present numbers or data, shapes how we answer research questions.

“Through this animation our aim was to distil the role of statistical methodologists and underscore the indispensable role of statistics in the realm of health and social care research.”

She added: “While many might perceive this as a discourse reserved for scientists and experts, the truth is that statistical methodologists rely on the insights of the public to co-create and cherry-pick tools relevant to our research pursuits.

“The richness of their lived experiences and their familiarity with their own health conditions empowers them to guide statisticians towards pivotal areas of focus and data collection. Statistical methodologists need the public to help build and select tools that are appropriate to the research we’re doing, helping us to change the world.”

The animation was a collaborative effort involving NIHR ARC East Midlands, the Leicester BRC and the Centre for Ethnic Health Research.

The Data2Health theme ensures the most efficient and appropriate design of future research studies and maximum use of existing evidence, including large-scale linked data resources, to address important questions for patients, the public and care services, both locally and nationally.

NIHR ARC East Midlands funds vital work to tackle the region’s health and care priorities by speeding up the adoption of research onto the frontline of health and social care. The organisation puts in place evidence-based innovations which seek to drive up standards of care and save time and money.

NIHR ARC East Midlands is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and works in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network. It has bases at the University of Leicester and the University of Nottingham.

Published on: 1 Sep 2023