The DataLoch repository is under constant development thanks to new data from different collaborators and data sources, as well as work by our analyst team to improve the understanding of the data held and to share this knowledge with potential applicants. Here, we summarise the latest key improvements.

New datasets

DataLoch Demographics: The DataLoch team has created this dataset to substantially improve the reliability and coverage of demographic information. Specifically, this advances our support for research and service-management requests by collating, quality-checking and robustly cross-referencing details about ethnicity, sex, date of birth and date of death. The result is a much more intuitive experience for all those requesting data-access.

DataLoch Observations: A portfolio of certain lifestyle data and risk factors – Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements, blood pressure, alcohol consumption, smoking status, cardiovascular (ASSIGN) risk scores, eFrailty Index, height, spirometry test results – presented in a way that can be more easily utilised within research. We have distilled hundreds of codes down to the most reliable and informative codes for researchers.

Pulmonary Function Tests: This dataset includes spirometry and exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) test results used in diagnosing and monitoring certain lung conditions, taken from the RespNet database in NHS Lothian.

Updates to existing datasets

Prescribing Information System: The dataset now also includes details of dispensed drugs for patients resident in the Lothian region, in addition to those who received a prescription from a clinician based in NHS Lothian.

General and Acute Services (SMR01 dataset) and Mental Health Services (SMR04): Major updates to these datasets as they are now sourced directly from Public Health Scotland. Some variable names have been changed and new variables added.

GP Registrations: Expanded by the DataLoch team to include information on current and past registrations. 

Enhanced support for respiratory research

The DataLoch Respiratory Registry is a major development within our March 2023 update. It is designed to improve support for respiratory researchers by offering a smoother data-selection experience, a streamlined application process, and straightforward access to related expertise. 

With the support of the BREATHE Hub – in partnership with SAIL Databank and Imperial College London – we have aligned our new registry with those developed and maintained in England and Wales. 

Further details can be found through Introducing the DataLoch Respiratory Registry.