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Making the most of ‘big data’ in veterinary practice and research

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HEALTH informatics – the use of large volumes of anonymised electronic health data for research and surveillance – provides new opportunities for veterinary and medical science. It uses ‘big data’ to address key clinical questions, to identify new diseases and new risk factors for established diseases, and to provide opportunities for prospective and retrospective studies to underpin evidence-based medicine. It facilitates sharing of anonymised data and allows participating practitioners to compare and benchmark against other anonymised practices, in terms of demographics, diseases, treatment and outcomes. The medical profession has seized these opportunities to establish the Farr Institute (, a world-leading UK initiative to make sense of electronic …

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