Managing big data in the medical profession


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We take a look at the latest apprenticeship standard, Medical Statistician and highlight the importance of this role across many sectors.

Big data is transforming the medical industry. The internet of things, wearable devices, artificial intelligence and machine learning are all helping to improve patient care and outcomes. The ability to collect big data that informs all these things is important, but to plan and utilise that data requires interpretation.  Who is responsible for this? Take a step forward medical statisticians.

Sometime known as biostatisticians they can be found in a wide variety of companies in the medical sector across the Liverpool City Region. Think pharmaceutical, health care, medical device technology, biotechnology, food and environmental safety, regulatory sectors and colleges and universities.

As a Medical Statistician Apprentice you’ll train to provide statistical leadership to a multi-disciplinary team. Your expertise will ensure research studies are designed, conducted, analysed, interpreted and reported in a way which is statistically valid. This will inform conclusions that are trustworthy and reliable.

Research studies are conducted in a wide variety of settings. They are designed to test potential new treatments for diseases or to investigate new technologies or processes to improve healthcare. The industry calls these healthcare interventions. Research studies collect data that needs to be analysed to assess how effective an intervention has been. As a Medical Statistician Apprentice you’ll be training to analyse the data and present it in specific ways, so it can be examined and decisions made on whether the intervention is advantageous to the patient’s condition. This may be by seeing if a treatment extends a patient’s life, reduce their symptoms or slowing a disease down. Your analysis will help assess whether any unwanted side effects of the treatment are acceptable, balancing these against any medical improvements that can be made using it.

Your statistical management will be at the heart of reports submitted to a regulatory body for review. Alternatively, you could be working for that regulatory body assessing the statistical data being presented to them. Medical Statistician Apprentices also work with ethics committee’s senior management, study directors, scientists, doctors, data managers, clinical teams, project managers and medical writers to ensure the work they conduct is statistically valid.

You will enjoy this apprenticeship if you have good problem solving skills and like working with data.  The role of a Medical Statistician is primarily office-based spending time designing studies, monitoring studies, analysing data, writing reports and contributing to team discussions in meetings.

In addition to working with medical data, a Medical Statistician Apprentice keeps abreast of current methodological developments in medical research. This includes reading journals and attending conferences. These are often international, so expect the opportunity to travel.

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team They provide impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.