The Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank contains healthcare data for the population of Wales. This includes datasets covering general practitioner (GP) visits, admissions to hospital and deaths, as well as a population spine that allows for linkage across multiple health datasets. These datasets can be very valuable to researchers, as they allow them to study the possible causes of dementia, as well as find out what happens to people with a dementia diagnosis. However, these datasets are very large and complex, which can limit how useful these resources are for researchers.

A team at the University of Edinburgh, led by Dr Tim Wilkinson and Dr Christian Schnier, have created a virtual ‘electronic-cohort’ for dementia research, by organising and simplifying these complex datasets. They have created the SAIL Dementia eCohort (SAIL-DeC) with the intention of it being flexible and reproducible, meaning researchers can use the resource to answer a wide range of longitudinal dementia-related questions. This will reduce the amount of time it takes for scientists to use the data, as well as reducing the costs associated with dementia research. SAIL-DeC will be maintained and updated over time, as newer data become available.

This eCohort is available within the SAIL Databank through the standard application and access processes, information for which can be found here, and will complement the existing traditional cohorts available via the Dementia Platform UK (DPUK) Data Portal.

For further information, please visit the SAIL Databank website, or contact DPUK Data Project Manager, Chris Orton, at c.orton@swansea.ac.uk.