SMALL DATA AND BIG DATA IN THE WAVES OF THE PANDEMIC: BUILDING THE BOAT AS WE SAILED IT
Bio: "Trish Greenhalgh is Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. She studied Medical, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and Clinical Medicine at Oxford before training first as a diabetologist and later as an academic general practitioner. She has a doctorate in diabetes care and an MBA in Higher Education Management. She leads a programme of research at the interface between the social sciences and medicine, working across primary and secondary care. Her work seeks to celebrate and retain the traditional and the humanistic aspects of medicine and healthcare while also embracing the exceptional opportunities of contemporary science and technology to improve health outcomes and relieve suffering. Three particular interests are the health needs and illness narratives of minority and disadvantaged groups, the introduction of technology-based innovations in healthcare, and the complex links (philosophical and empirical) between research, policy and practice. She has brought this interdisciplinary perspective to bear on the research response to the Covid-19 pandemic, looking at diverse themes including clinical assessment of the deteriorating patient by phone and video, the science and anthropology of face coverings, and policy decision-making in conditions of uncertainty. Trish is the author of over 400 peer-reviewed publications and 16 textbooks. She was awarded the OBE for Services to Medicine by Her Majesty the Queen in 2001 and made a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014. She is also a Fellow of the UK Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of General Practitioners, Faculty of Clinical Informatics and Faculty of Public Health."
The pandemic hit the research world like a cannonball. ‘Normal’ ways of working and methodological approaches became impossible overnight; but the world desperately needed high-quality research to inform urgent policy decisions. This presentation will describe how one research team mobilised to undertake hypothesis-generating qualitative research (“small data”) to inform a major prospective study of acute COVID symptoms in over 10;000 patients (“big data”). The standard research timelines were upended and governance processes suspended. Nevertheless; some degree of rigour was achieved. Prof Greenhalgh will reflect on lessons learned from high-stakes research at the interface between health and social care at this time of crisis.