The Runny Ear Study (REST), funded by the National Institute for Health Research, will focus on children who have middle ear infections with discharge (AOMd). These occur in around 15 per cent of middle ear infections, due to a build-up of pressure in the middle ear which causes the ear drum to burst, releasing pus (‘discharge’). Children with AOMd have more pain, repeat episodes of illness and hearing problems. AOMd also results in more visits to the GP, with over 90 per cent of parents taking their child to the GP for each episode. That’s over 150,000 consultations in England and Wales at a cost of over £3 million to the NHS each year.
The Runny Ear Study runs on software developed by the TRANSFoRm project. The project implemented the first working prototype of a Learning Health System in Europe. It was a collaboration with 20 partners in 10 EU states on developing methods, models, services, validated architectures to support three demonstrations of LHS use cases: Epidemiological research using GP records, including genotype-phenotype studies and other record linkages; clinical trial embedded into an EHR and driven by routinely collected data, evaluated with 5 commercial EHR tools in 4 EU countries; and decision support for diagnosis integrated with an EHR system in the UK.