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Approved research

Medical Device use, effectiveness and safety: a multifaceted approach.

Principal Investigator: Dr Albert Prats-Uribe
Approved Research ID: 46228
Approval date: November 11th 2019

Lay summary

Medical devices are instruments used to improve people's health, such as hip implants, pacemakers, contraceptive devices, or stents. Lately, there has been controversy on how well the actual regulations work to approve only safe and useful devices, and to keep those unsafe or ineffective out of the market. This has led to worldwide journalistic investigations and to the EU and some countries changing their policies regarding approval of those devices. But we still need good information on how to investigate these devices, and on how they are being used by doctors to treat patients. Because of this, we propose to look at how many and which type of medical devices are used by the UKBiobank participants to have a clear picture on how these devices have been used in time and in which kind of patients. We will also try to resolve questions of public interest arising from media reports, doctors and society, and find the best way to answer these questions using the latest research techniques in real world data. We will prioritise research on whether devices are safe, or they work better than other treatments, trying to focus on the devices for which there is less information available and have been subjected to less research. We will also look at ways to personalise the use of this devices, using methods to identify in which people these devices work better and are safer. As this research involves the generation of hypotheses from our first analyses, and from other sources we aim to have a 3-year project duration, to be able to answer the most relevant and hot questions during this time regarding medical devices. This research could lead to better information for decision makers, doctors, patients and general population on how devices are being used, and on which devices are useful and safe. This will help get rid of non-useful and unsafe devices and decide which treatment to follow considering all risks and benefits.