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COVID-19 information

During the pandemic we've held virtual patient and public involvement meetings so experiences could be shared and questions answered by a panel of experts.

We have continued to involve patients in research trials without additional hospital visits, especially with observations and data collection studies. This involves sending information by post and gaining consent remotely over the telephone.

Ophthalmology at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has an international reputation in patient-centred research, from quality of life to artificial intelligence or local academic projects to international studies across a wide range of sight-threatening conditions.

Our multi-disciplinary team contains a range of skill sets from the following professions to deliver complex ophthalmic trials:

  • Ophthalmologists
  • Research nurses
  • OCT technicians
  • Diabetic retinal screeners
  • Project managers
  • Optometrists

We also provide specialist ophthalmic support to other clinical trials across a variety of disease areas including cancer, neurology and some rare diseases.

Our highly collaborative team works closely with a number of academic institutions and other NHS trusts, delivering research from laboratory studies and new innovative technologies to testing new diagnostic devices and treatment options for eye disease.

We have been awarded a range of academic research grants to deliver exciting and innovative projects from funders such as:

  • The Wellcome Trust
  • Fight for Sight
  • Health Data Research UK (HDRUK)
  • The Alan Turing Institute

The team is particularly interested in digital innovation to tackle sight-threatening disease. UHB hosts INSIGHT, the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Eye Health which is focused on eye disease and its application to wider health, including diabetes and dementia.

UHB has well established patient and public involvement groups in uveitis and glaucoma. We are working to develop these groups in other areas such as age related macular degeneration. 

Common conditions and trial topics

Clinical trials

We recruit patients with the following conditions to a number of clinical trials and observational studies:

  • Uveitis
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Giant cell arteritis (GCA)
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH)

Digital healthcare

We are leading and collaborating on a number of digital projects that look at the application of health data research and digital healthcare (including artificial intelligence) and how this can be implemented to improve patient care.


We use large-scale anonymised data and advanced analytics, including artificial intelligence, to develop new insights in disease detection, diagnosis, treatments and personalised healthcare.


The team leads on initiatives that look at moving artificial intelligence into use, including standards for trial protocols and reporting, the human-computer interaction and the new role of the doctor in the artificial intelligence era.

Contact information

Last reviewed: 27 October 2021