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Scottish research company Aridhia is moving to Azure, which could help Alzheimer’s research

Data from the world’s largest research project into the prevention of Alzheimer’s will be stored on Microsoft’s cloud platform following a new agreement with Aridhia.

The Scottish company, whose digital research platform AnalytiXagility is used in the health, biomedical research and precision medicine sectors, is to move all its work to Azure, including treatment studies by the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium (EPAD).

Aridhia will use Microsoft’s service to offer medical experts, such as those at EPAD, a secure, efficient and safe way of sharing data to improve patient outcomes, accelerate clinical research and contribute to the development of new drugs.

“We have created a safe space for researchers to work with highly privileged data associated with patients across all types of conditions,” said David Sibbald, Chief Executive of Aridhia. “It allows research groups to work and collaborate with other medical centres across the world, as well as bring in bio-pharmaceutical companies, in a secure environment.

“Microsoft’s approach to healthcare and life sciences was very attractive to us. They have the same view of data governance as we have, which is that we don’t own any of the data we hold, we just store and process it for our customers. It was very important for us to work with a company that shared that view.”

Researchers often test theories and develop potential treatments for a range of conditions at laboratories and other sites across the UK. However, moving that to the clinical stage can be slow and difficult due to the amount of regulation introduced at that point. Arhidia’s service makes that process smoother as healthcare experts are using one platform from start to finish, while reducing costs and improving data security. All the information will be held in Microsoft’s UK data centres.

Last year Arhidia agreed a 10-year deal with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) NHS Foundation Trust for AnalytiXagility. The move will help GOSH speed up its research projects by improving the way its researchers access and analyse healthcare information.

Professor Neil Sebire, Chief Research Information Officer at GOSH, said: “The combination of Aridhia’s Digital Research Platform with the advanced cognitive services of Azure will provide a unique combination of data management and analysis services to accelerate the adoption of AI services at GOSH and at DRIVE, our recently launched digital innovation environment”.

Aridhia is planning to give some customers early access to their Digital Research Platform running on Azure in January.