AIMES: one of seven key partners aiming to improve research for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

AIMES: one of seven key partners aiming to improve research for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Posted on: 01/10/2019

G.I. Know- The Health Data Research Hub for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Half a million people in the UK live with inflammatory bowel disease costing the UK health budgets approximately £1.5 Billion each year. However, a revolutionary new investment will allow patients living with Crohn’s and colitis to benefit from a £5m grant for a new Cambridge-based research hub, following a successful bid led by Eastern AHSN and Cambridge University Health Partners (CUHP). 

What is the objective? The collective objective of the Health Data Research Hub for Inflammatory Bowel Disease is to enhance our research and understanding of inflammatory bowel disease to improve rapid diagnosis, treatment and provide the highest level of care to our patients.

This is why the team at AIMES are proud to announce our success as a key partner in G.I Know, The Health data research hub for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. AIMES will be providing secure hosting services for the hub as well as deploying their technical expertise in the delivery of and transfer of IBD data into the hub. In addition, AIMES will utilise their wealth of experience in data curation to support with the end-to-end journey for researchers, analysists and NHS experts to ensure data optimisation.

AIMES have been working in partnership with a number of NHS trusts and organisations across the digital healthcare market to deliver secure healthcare environments and network infrastructure to enhance data use and ultimately, patient care. Antony Shimmin, Business Development Manager, has worked within AIMES for eight years and is one of our key drivers of the project. He was proud to announce the following; “Our involvement in the hub is due to our highly valued collaboration both on the successful HDR UK Rare Disease Sprint Exemplar, and the strong track record of delivery we have with both the IBD Registry and NIHR BioResource at Cambridge. We look forward to contributing to the ambitious outputs of the project over the coming months and years and playing a key part in the improvement of patient care and treatment.”

To learn more about AIMES involvement and what we do please contact

The following is an extract from the official press release Eastern AHSN:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

There is an urgent need to better understand why patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD) respond differently to treatments so they can be prescribed the best personalised treatment as early as possible in order to improve outcomes, minimise surgery and reduce costs. Whilst advances in clinical imaging, pathology and particularly genomics have produced remarkable progress in understanding Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis the power of these technologies cannot be fully realised until their outputs are combined in a secure research resource and made accessible to the whole research community. This project makes that possible.

Director of health Informatics

Mark Avery, Director of Health Informatics at CUHP and Eastern AHSN, who brought the bid team together commented; “This is such an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of health data research.  Working with the NIHR BioResource and patients we will transform our understanding of inflammatory bowel disease, drive improvements in diagnosis and treatment and deliver a data framework that could be used in future for other diseases.  We believe that citizens, academia, health services and industry will achieve more working together than they will in isolation.  This project exemplifies that, and we are grateful to all our partners on this hub including the NIHR BioResource, Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the IBD Registry, Welcome Sanger, AIMES, Privitar and Microsoft.”

Treatments today

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis current treatment is with steroids, immunosuppressants and antibody therapies, but results are variable. Over 70% of patients with Crohn’s and 15% with colitis require major surgery. There is an urgent need to better understand why patients respond differently to treatments in order to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Rosanna, Crohn’s disease patient commented; “Patients with inflammatory bowel disease need to find the most effective treatment as quickly as possible to limit disease progression - but currently this process can take three or more years of trial and error. This initiative makes the tantalising prospect of personalised medicine real for patients, who for the first time will have the confidence that they have been prescribed the most effective treatment for them from the start.”

Patient and public involvement is key to the success of this bid. 25,000 IBD patients across 90+ NHS Trusts have already been recruited to an NIHR BioResource and provided consent for their health records to be used for medical research.

For more information or interviews with spokespeople please contact:

Simon Day, Eastern AHSN

Tel: 07747 112 046

Notes to Editors:

About Eastern AHSN (Academic Health Science Network)

Eastern AHSN is part of a national network of AHSNs established by the NHS to convene all partners in the health sector, develop and deliver innovative care. Our purpose is to turn great ideas into positive health impact.
We believe that health is improved by great ideas, but great ideas only make an impact when they are put into practice. Our health is too important to leave change to chance.
Citizens, academia, health services and industry will achieve more working together than they will in isolation. Our job is to make this happen and we do this by helping innovators navigate complex systems, generate value propositions and convene stakeholders to overcome challenges together.
The Eastern region is home to some of the greatest science and the most brilliant health and care practitioners in the world. We want our region to benefit from both, creating better health outcomes and more prosperity.
We are ambitious for patients and committed to applying evidence to make change happen.

For more information please see

About Cambridge University Health Partners

Cambridge University Health Partners is one of six Academic Health Science Centres in England whose mission is to improve patient healthcare by bringing together the NHS, industry and academia. By inspiring and organising collaboration, CUHP aims to ensure patients reap the benefits of the world class research, clinicians and industry which are based at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The Partners are: University of Cambridge, Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For further information about CUHP’s work visit or follow us on Twitter: @CUHPartners.