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Katie Wilde: Twitter Takeovers

Curated by Katie Wilde, Digital Research Manager at the University of Aberdeen (@katiejwilde) on 14th June 2021.

Every week the global OHT Twitter account is curated by a wonderful member of the OHT community. They share with us how they do what they do, what they're interested in, their top tips and general learnings. We like to turn these Tweets into blogs as there is so much goodness in them!

Go on... sign up to curate our account on a Monday know you want to!


I lead 3 teams at the University covering the Digital needs of Researchers, one of my roles is based in the Centre for Health Data Science where as their Technical Director I run the Safe Haven (Trusted Research Environment) and are part of several research projects which use unconsented data for health care research projects.

I covered Trusted Research Environments, some work life balance topics and how I go to the role that I was in.


It's Monday and it's take over day again here at @One_HealthTech and today I shall be your curator from an unusually warm and sunny Aberdeen. But first let me introduce myself. I'm Katie and I'm a Digital Research Services Manager based at the University of Aberdeen.

There I'm based in the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science (@AbdnCHDS) and today I thought we could explore a little bit of what I do and how I got here. Feel free to ask questions along the way /1 first up what do I do? Lots! In my role I'm responsible for the running of our Safe Haven, a trusted research environment that allows researchers to access unconsented health care data for research purposes. /2

The Safe Haven has strict security standards that we must follow and as such I'm kicking off my Monday morning with an ISO27001 Audit Visit #digitalhealth#auditday/3

The Safe Haven has lots of exciting projects and I really enjoy being part of the various research projects which cover lots of areas including Maternity, Kidney Disease, Stroke and Mental Health to name but a few./4

I hold an NHS Grampian (my local Health Board) Honorary Contract which allows me to access data to prepare for research and to assist with Service Requests of which I did a few during the pandemic when Shielding Lists were put together. #digitalhealth/5

We've also had researchers ask to use their own software. All this has led to an exciting project that we are working on at the moment known as @iCAIRD_Scot which looks at providing a Trusted Research Environment for Digital Diagnostics /6

But there are limitations to using the Safe Havens and this has been around the data available. Up until 2019 the data was all structured but we had more and more asks for images, reports and free text all of which make it difficult to pseudo-anonymise. #tre /7

So lets talk more about the Trusted Research environments...they are virtual or physical instances that enable access to data in a secure manner for Research purposes. It allows researchers to login and access data using software provided on the system #tre/8

This new environment allows companies to bring along their algorithms and run it on healthcare data (still anonymised) to allow them to tests and refine their code. At the moment we have seen the environment used to detect fractures in wrist and ankles. #tre/9

And to aid with Breast Screening appointments. It's very much about supporting and assisting NHS staff and students we are looking forward to seeing the outputs from this project #tre/10

So that's my break over and it's back to catching up on emails that have come in since the morning./11

When I'm not exercising I do like to knit or rather start many projects and not quite finish them and being in the garden. This year's challenge has been to grow strawberries...I got so excited I at the first ripe one and forgot the picture but a few more on their way /12

*Break* I'm a big believer in work life balance or blend as it is at the moment. I always try and get a walk in at lunchtime. I live in a small village just outside Aberdeen with just enough pavements to allow me to walk with headphones in. So any podcast recommendations? /13

So most of my afternoons are taken up with Meetings, I do try and keep Wednesday and Friday free. Today I would normally be meeting with our local group which is part of the @HealthFdn

The #NetworkedDataLab is a collaborative network of analytical teams across the UK working together using linked datasets on key issues facing health and care services today. We spent the last 12 months looking at the impact of the pandemic on the shielding population in the UK. /15

Another big part of my role is networking & promoting the Centre, this can be from having regular meetings with colleagues from Industry, NHS Grampian and collaborators to working with our in-house design teams to create videos that can be used in presentations and on our website /16

I also give a lot of presentations, including one for our @OHT_Aberdeen inaugural event in Aberdeen back in February 2020 little do we know then what was to come. /17

So how did I get here...well 7 year old me wanted to be a Recovery Truck Driver...16 year old me an Accountant who got told don't study accountancy at University choose something you love so I chose Maths and went to sunny @UniofExeter #HealthTech /18

4 years later I had my MMaths in Mathematics and wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do...after 3 months of teaching Maths in South Africa I returned to North East Scotland and saw and advert for a Graduate Trainee at the University/19

I joined the University as an Analyst Programmer and spent the time building Access databases for research and then undertaking SQL extractions for large Research projects and I've not left. /20

I still do SQL extractions and when I get a spare 5 minutes I do try and improve my R skills using Twitter as a great resource to see what others are doing and when I was in Oz I managed to attend my first R Ladies book club @RLadiesPerth /21

I've also being learning how to use #wikidata and have been involved in some interesting projects in which we have curated data from old Aberdeen records. The latest being convicts and I was involved transcribing the Aberdeen Convict Registers from the 1800/1900 /22

Well I guess I should call it a day...its been nice looking after the show today and hopefully the above has given you an insight into just one role that you can do in #Healthtech – don't forget to check back here soon for another take over. /23


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