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Secure analytics platform for NHS electronic health records

OpenSAFELY delivers research across over 58 million people's health records, always respecting patient confidentiality

Working in partnership with

  • University of Oxford logo
  • Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences logo
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine logo
  • TPP logo
  • EMIS logo

Better research, improved patient confidentiality


OpenSAFELY is a highly secure, transparent, open-source software platform for analysis of electronic health records data. All platform activity is publicly logged. All software for data management and analysis is shared, automatically and openly, for scientific review and efficient re-use.

Protecting privacy

We never let researchers download patient data, and OpenSAFELY tools let users to write code to analyse patient data without even needing to view the raw records.

Core privacy features

Auditable by the public

It is a privilege to use patient data for the public good. OpenSAFELY respects patients by carefully considering this in every part of its design.

How do I know my data is safe?

Better, open science

OpenSAFELY requires publication of all analytic code, and our tools drive all users to produce prespecified, reusable, testable, shareable and modular software for research.

View best practices

Enabling high volumes of research

Over 22 published research outputs to date, with many more in progress.

Research outputs

OpenSAFELY is revolutionising the way we work with health data. The initiative has already delivered major contributions to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. But OpenSAFELY also leads the way in terms of transparency, open working methods, and a uniquely secure data access model.

Krishnan Bhaskaran

Professor of Statistical Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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Open for research

We are currently working with NHS England to cautiously on-board a small number of external pilot users to develop their analyses on OpenSAFELY. This first wave of pilot users will be collaborators, working closely alongside us to co-develop the platform.

Read about our pilot onboarding process
  1. Python, R and Stata

    Choose any of these languages to write your analytic code

  2. Primary care data

    Our deployment for NHS England uses primary care data to research questions related to the Covid-19 emergency

  3. A commitment to open ways of working

    We believe transparency and open working methods are key to earning public trust and improving research quality

Latest from the blog

  1. Why ehrQL?

    Why did we create a new query language?

  2. OpenSAFELY Wins CogX Award for Open Science Innovation

    The OpenSAFELY Collaborative has won a prestigious CogX Award for the Best Innovation in Open Source Technology

  3. OpenSAFELY Service Restoration Observatory: Key Measures

    In this blog, we describe the development of a set of key measures used to monitor the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on primary care as part of the OpenSAFELY Service Restoration Observatory (SRO). The results from this work have now been published in eLife.

  4. Introduction to the Information Governance Team

    Here we introduce the Bennett Institute’s Information Governance team, explaining who they are, and what they do.

  5. Challenges in Estimating COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Using Observational Data

    Our new paper describes some of the biases that exist when estimating COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness using routinely-collected health data, and discusses the use of target trial emulation to avoid or mitigate these biases.

  6. An Introduction to Clinical Codes and Terminology Systems

    An introduction to what clinical codes are, why they are used and the terminology systems used within OpenSAFELY work.

View more blog posts →