Public Health Wales has begun to explore the possibility of setting up a digital register of disease to support healthcare in the country.
It has awarded a contract valued at £267,000 to data engineering company Armakuni to work with it on a discovery phase to establish the feasibility of a single, linkable register.
Registries for specific diseases already exist within NHS Wales, but Public Health Wales wants to look at whether service providers, policy makers and researchers would be better served by a single register.
It is also planning to run an architectural review of technical and data assets. A series of workshops with register owners and some users has already highlighted variations in the maturity and architecture of existing registers.
The agency – which is responsible for sharing information on population health and wellbeing in Wales – believes a single registry might reduce duplication and support the quality assurance of the dataset, which are currently updated manually.
The contract notice says the base problem is that: “People can’t see if they are part of a disease register. Registers aren’t updated in real or near-real time, preventing them from being useful as a planning or operational decision-making tool.”
It adds: “The overall aims of such a registry would be to improve care provision and further our understanding of the relationship between disease, people and place in Wales.”