CogStack wins prestigious award

CogStack has been recognised at the prestigious HETT Unexpected Innovation Awards.

The informatics tool won the ‘Data Innovation Award – RPA/AI/Data’, which recognises digital products or services that demonstrate measurable impacts and outcomes delivered in big data projects, at the ceremony in November.   

What does CogStack do? 

CogStack wins award - January 2023Hospital Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems hold rich patient data, but they contain multiple formats, often incomplete and difficult to access. It is estimated that 80% of the data is unstructured, and often free-form text written by care providers. Most hospitals hold this data across disconnected databases. Gathering and filtering the required data for an audit or reports can involve laborious, error-prone, manual reading of clinical notes in Word docs, PDFs, and hand-written notes.  

This leaves a wealth of data underutilised, leading to more expensive, inefficient processes, and ultimately overall worse patient care.  

The interdisciplinary CogStack team have developed a fundamental infrastructure, that supports real time collection, harmonisation and enterprise level searching, alerting, visualisations, and dashboards across an entire hospital's EHR.   

CogStack is system agnostic, so can be widely used. It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to read and understand unstructured records, such as clinicians’ case notes.  It is user-friendly, allowing data to be accessed by asking straightforward questions, has enabled free-text search in EHR, identification of relationships between entities in text and automatic information extraction. 

CogStack is an ecosystem of loosely coupled, open-source, NHS home-grown technologies that is integrated and deployed at five NHS trusts with ten more trusts in queue. It has ingested 12 million documents spanning 20 years across multiple databases.   

Prof James Teo*, CogStack Clinical Lead, says: 

The work of CogStack has grown from an academic collaboration between all of King’s Health Partners to produce translationally useful clinical informatics tools for healthcare. Importantly CogStack has embraced open-source principles with many of these tools and technology being made openly available for the wider NHS. I am personally proud to say that this is evidence for how NHS home-grown technologies can and do flourish.

Prof Richard Dobson**, CogStack Group Lead, says: 

Through close collaboration between computer and data scientists, clinicians, hospital IT teams and patients, the CogStack team have used approaches including natural language AI to make sense of the vast and heterogeneous data that is locked away within the NHS - insights derived from this data are critical to improve the functioning of the NHS. I am really pleased that the potential of CogStack to transform healthcare beyond KHP has been recognised by this award.

The HETT Unexpected Innovation Awards celebrate the best in experimental design, collaboration, and leadership in digital healthcare. November’s ceremony was hosted by comedian Phil Wang at The Tower Hotel in London. 2021 CogStack won the Public Sector Award of Elastic Excellence which recognises a Public Sector organization that is leading the way in innovative, sustainable, and critical use cases. 

Watch the Intro to CogStack YouTube video here: 

CogStack intro video

2019 CogStack featured in NHSX report on AI, read the article here

Want to know more, visit the website here

*Prof James Teo is the Clinical Director of AI and Data, and Professor of Neurology at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  

**Prof Richard Dobson is Theme Lead for Informatics, NIHR Maudsley BRC, and Head of the Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, King’s College London.