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Musicians make harmonies with health data

If you could hear your health data, what would it sound like?

Come and hear how health data is used in harmony with research, from making sure that stroke patients are identified and treated as quickly as possible to improving care for children with asthma, at a free live performance of #MusicSaysDataSavesLives.

Health data research group Connected Health Cities (CHC) and composers from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) are working together to translate five key projects into contemporary musical pieces which will be performed at Manchester Museum on September 19.

CHC has been conducting research across the North of England, using health data to improve the lives of patients and increase our understanding of disease.

Now, CHC is bringing its research out of the lab and onto the main stage by collaborating with composers from RNCM Centre for Practice and Research in Science and Music (PRiSM) and telling how data is saving lives through music.

This is part of CHC’s wider commitment to engage the public in the discussion on the use of health data in health and social care research and NHS service improvement with their successful public campaign #DataSavesLives.

Composers have been working with each of the four Connected Health Cities in North East and North Cumbria, North West Coast, Greater Manchester and Connected Yorkshire to create short musical pieces inspired by research projects which are using patient data to address the health priorities in those regions.

The pieces will be performed by musicians and will be interspersed with short conversations between each composer and a researcher from the project that inspired them. 

In the North West Coast, CHC is being delivered by the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the region, in partnership with the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and Aimes Grid Services.

A team of academics, clinicians and research analysts is using data to improve care for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), epilepsy and alcohol-related illnesses.

A Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Senate (PIES) has been established to involve North West Coast residents in CHC and allow them to have their say.

Composer and electric guitarist, Nate Chivers from RNCM, visited the PIES group to find out more about their work which has involved helping to develop a smartphone app wizard to record patient preferences for sharing healthcare data and creating a survey to discover people’s views on data-sharing.

He then went away to reflect and interpret this information into a musical composition for a wind quartet with the patient journey being portrayed by Nate on electric guitar.

Originally from Western Massachusetts, Nate was raised on rock, jazz, and pop, but is also trained in classical composition and loves to combine these styles. He also likes to include performances from people using their own voice.

​As part of the performance, Patient and Public Involvement lead Debbie Parkinson will be talking about how she involved patients in CHC in the North West Coast.

So don’t miss this exciting and groundbreaking performance. #MusicSaysDataSavesLives takes place at Manchester Museum on Thursday, September 19. Doors open from 6pm. The performance takes place from 7pm to 9pm.

Tickets are free. Register here

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