Epidemiology open Platform to Investigate COVID-19 (EPIC)

As the UK government moves to the second phase of its COVID-19 response, important questions about the disease remain unanswered. We propose a flexible open epidemiological platform comprising primary care data obtained from linked electronic healthcare records (EHR) and directly obtained patient self-reports. The EPIC platform will provide researchers with a nationwide dataset with the potential to answer a broad range of research questions including shielding factors for contracting COVID-19 or developing complications, candidate pre-COVID-19 status treatments, epidemiological patterns and prospective clinical trials.

Project plan

Data source

The platform has been developed through collaboration with many academic and industry partners. The platform is provided to GP practices as part of the OPC Quality Improvement Service. The unique value of platform is bringing together patient data through the Optimum Patient Care Research Database (OPCRD) for COVID-19 research and improving patient care. All patient data collected is de-identified so it is not possible to identify a patient.

  • Patient COVID-19 survey
  • Patient COVID-19 tests
  • Patient GP health records
  • Patient hospital data
  • COVID-19 clinical trials data

Benefits for GP practices

  • Patient surveys will help practices obtain first-hand information from patients about COVID-19.
  • Patient surveys will help practices to know about COVID-19 cases (actual incidence and prevalence) in their locality.
  • Enable practices to better prepare (strategy, resources) to manage patients, post-lockdown and in the event of second wave (new cases, re-infections).
  • Access to quality improvement service and support for COVID-19.
  • Opportunities to participate in COVID-19 quality improvement initiatives.
  • Opportunities to participate in COVID-19 research including paid studies (if conducted on the platform).

Benefits for health and research community

  • Access to COVID-19 patient reported data for research
  • Access to longitudinal EHR data for COVID-19 research
  • Platform to conduct COVID-19 related patient questionnaire studies
  • Platform to conduct clinical trials in COVID-19
  • Platform for translational activities e.g. implementation programmes
  • Sharing of knowledge, expertise and resources on COVID-19