Towards the Integration of Prescription Analytics into Health Policy and General Practice

  • Brian ClelandEmail author
  • Jonathan Wallace
  • Raymond Bond
  • Michaela Black
  • Maurice Mulvenna
  • Deborah Rankin
  • Austin Tanney
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10630)


The phenomenon of big data and data analytics is impacting many sectors, including healthcare. Practical examples of the application of big data to health policy and health service delivery remain scarce, however. In this paper, which summarises findings from an ongoing research project, we explore the potential for applying data analytics and anomaly detection to open data in order to support improved policy design and to enable better clinical decisions in primary care. The policy context of mental health in Northern Ireland is described, and its importance as a public health issue is explained. Based on previous work, it is proposed that depression prevalence is a mediating factor between economic deprivation and antidepressant prescribing. This hypothesis is tested by analysing a variety of open datasets. The methodology is described, including datasets used, the data processing pipeline, and analysis tools. The results are presented, identifying correlations between the three main variables, and highlighting anomalies in the data. The findings are discussed and implications and opportunities for further research are described.


Health policy Data analytics Big data Prescribing Prevalence Deprivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Cleland
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonathan Wallace
    • 1
  • Raymond Bond
    • 1
  • Michaela Black
    • 1
  • Maurice Mulvenna
    • 1
  • Deborah Rankin
    • 1
  • Austin Tanney
    • 2
  1. 1.Ulster UniversityColeraineNorthern Ireland, UK
  2. 2.Analytics EnginesBelfastNorthern Ireland, UK

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