Professor Ben Goldacre, Director of the Bennett Institute, was interviewed on a recent episode of the BBC’s More or Less: Behind the Stats radio show. You can listen to the show on the BBC website or on BBC Sounds.

Ben discussed the OpenSAFELY platform, designed during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep patient data confidential and secure while allowing researchers access to the nation’s health records.

More or Less is a radio show and podcast series from BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service which sets out to make sense of the statistics that surround us each day. In the episode about OpenSAFELY, Ben explained how the platform works, its applications in research, and the impact it has had throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, there’s a helpful metaphor for how big data medical research works, think ‘robot data concierge’.

OpenSAFELY has so far enabled more than 150 research projects from 22 different organisations and the NHS in England has recently announced plans to expand the use of OpenSAFELY beyond COVID-19 treatments to help drive research for other major diseases. New projects proceeding on this basis are expected to start soon.