A researcher's perspective
For the majority of dementia researchers, access to relevant data remains one of the biggest barriers to testing new ideas. Dementias Platform UK technologies change all that: the Data Portal allows any bona fide researcher to log in and analyse large datasets where the new insights into dementia can be found and tested. Sarah Bauemeister, an Early Career Researcher based in Oxford, is excited.
"For an Early Career Researcher focused on dementia, access to data is always a challenge. The datasets with dementia-relevant, longitudinal elements are vast files which are difficult to process, let alone analyse. Access to this data is usually associated with funding and institutional restrictions which can make longitudinal data out of reach for many researchers.
Having worked with dementia patients and seen first-hand the devastation of this disease both to the individual and their families, my motivation to pursue my research into dementia is stronger than ever. I am brimming with ideas for research proposals and look forward to where my analytical skills will take me if I can access the data in large population cohort studies.
DPUK is now making this possible – for me and all researchers – irrespective of our funding background, institutional alliance or career status. It is an enabling force, soon allowing access to data from over two million people, for free, to bona fide researchers. Scientists like me, working anywhere in the world, will be able to find the data they need, and be able to analyse it easily too. Because of DPUK, dementia research has just become more hopeful, promising and optimistic, and all researchers should be incredibly excited about the opportunities available on the DPUK platform."