Research impact from the School of Medicine

Our research changes clinical practice and informs government policy and health guidelines

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Our discoveries have led to new ways of diagnosing and treating major diseases such as cancer, liver failure and cardiovascular disease and we continue to be in the forefront of drug safety research and the clinical management of respiratory disease and chronic pain.

Intelligent Liver Function Testing (iLFT)

iLFT provides highly cost-effective automated pathways for the investigation of abnormal liver function tests, improving quality of care and saving lives by earlier diagnosis and treatment of liver disease. Implementation of iLFT as standard NHS care has contributed to the effective elimination of hepatitis C in Tayside. iLFT is being rolled out in other regions across the UK.

The impact of sodium containing effervescent, soluble and dispersible drugs on cardiovascular events

Long-term consumption of sodium-containing effervescent, soluble and dispersible medications causes significant increases in cardiovascular events and hypertension in vulnerable patients. Our research has resulted in changes in labelling legislation that has reduced the prescribing of potentially harmful high sodium medications.

Use of population-based health informatics research to improve care for patients with cardiovascular metabolic diseases

The availability of population-based electronic health records creates affordable and efficient research opportunities benefitting from large sample size and generalisable patient populations. Our research has shown how this approach with enhanced linkage to vital records can support regulatory decision-making and guideline development, thus widening treatment options to improve health outcomes.

Faecal haemoglobin estimation in colorectal cancer screening and the triage of symptomatic populations

The impact of this research has been to introduce and modify the UK’s national bowel cancer screening programmes that prevent approximately 2000 deaths from the disease each year and are now leading to a reduction in disease incidence.  In addition, using the same technology in symptomatic patients is leading to a more targeted approach to investigation.

Opioid prescribing in Scotland: stemming the epidemic

Our research has identified rising rates of opioid prescribing and related harms in Scotland and informed national guidance for clinical management of pain. These rates have been falling steadily following publication of this guidance.

Management of bronchiectasis

Our research has transformed the global management of the lung disease bronchiectasis. Dundee has established a European Bronchiectasis Registry which has enrolled more than 20,000 patients with this previously neglected disease. Data from this project have underpinned changes in diagnosis, severity assessment, treatment and the development of international clinical guidelines.