Who we are

CLEF is an MRC sponsored project in the E-Science programme that aims to establish policies and infrastructure for the next generation of integrated clinical and bioscience research.

One of the major goals of the project is to provide a pseudonymised repository of histories of cancer patients that can be accessed by researchers.

CLEF’s Goals:

• Enable secure and ethical collection of clinical information from multiple sites
• Analyse, structure, integrate, prioritise and disseminate

• Make resources available using GRID tools (e.g. myGrid )
• To provide access to clinical data to authorised clinicians and scientists


CLEF Services

The overall aim of CLEF Services Programme is to join up clinical care and post-genomic research. It aims to reduce the manual effort of managing clinical data for post-genomic research by improving clinical information capture and re-use and by improving usability, analysis and visualisation of the data.

CLEF Services will take the next steps towards deploying CLEF’s generic “horizontal” services as part of the health e-science GRID infrastructure to support vertical applications – clinical trials, longitudinal studies in specific clinical domains, first in cancer.

CLEF Services addresses issues encountered in CLEF in managing privacy and security and takes advantage of new opportunities provided by the advent of the NHS Spine. The NHS Spine is both an opportunity and a challenge for CLEF Services; an opportunity to acquire more patient information directly and a challenge to establish the policy level and technical links that will allow interworking between the academic/e-Science framework and the NHS National programme for IT (NPfIT). Links between the academic/e-Science infrastructure and the NHS are a prerequisite for realizing the potential of the NHS as a resource for clinical research.

The objectives of CLEF Services:
  • Bring a multidisciplinary team to the key problems of privacy
  • Package elements of the pilot scheme as GRID services and evaluate their use in the clinical centres.
  • Make its own results available within the e-Science framework and provide links to the underlying e-Science infrastructure for use by collaborators in vertical e-Science projects and in the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Bioinformatics strategy
  • Develop and pilot methodologies for inter-working between the new NHS Spine and the e-Science/GRID Infrastructure
  • Move the emphasis form clinical data acquisition towards analysis, re-use and visualization
  • Contribute nationally and internationally to standards for clinical information interchange, metadata and knowledge management

  • Long term vision:
  • To enable faster and more effective clinical trials and experimental medical studies linking clinical and genomic information
  • To allow more effective tailoring of care to individual patients
  • To provide improved quality clinical information and reduce workload for clinicians

  • CLEF Services, which was launched in January 2005, will expand the clinical base for its developmental work. That will enable CLEF to begin to work with live data sets and step-up it's testing processes for user friendliness and faithfulness of data extraction and interpretation in face of complex queries.
    CLEF is focusing on the specific technologies which are currently barriers to obtaining and integrating clinical information
    What we do?
    CLEF is developing technologies and IT applications that are of immediate use for healthcare service and medical research applications.
    Linking medical research to clinical practice
    Health informatics standards are essential to achieve the goals of e-health in Europe. Establishing interoperability between systems and patient information exchange between health care organizations is vital for improving the efficiency and quality of care. This however can also be achieved once the security of clinical data and protection of the privacy of the citizens is ensured.
    National IT Programme (NPfIT)
    Over the next 10 years, the NPfIT will connect over 30,000 GPs in England to almost 300 hospitals and give patients access to their personal health and care information, transforming the way the NHS works. It will help to improve the management of health care records, appointments, prescription, and link up-to-date research into treatments available to patients. It will also support patient choice.
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