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Extra miles

If I had a milometer for my bike, it would be showing a little spike today. Rather than cycling to my regular office, I started the day by popping into a conference being run by some of my colleagues in a hotel on the far side of Oxford. Now I’m on the way back, having stopped to check my emails and write up some notes at one of the libraries in town.

It was interesting to get some insight into the purpose and practice of health economics. The core of this is using data to determine if a new treatment is worth bringing into regular use based on an understanding of how cost effective it is compared to existing treatments. Ethically that obviously creates some tensions in cases where a treatment is demonstrably better but also much more expensive but it does at least give a rational basis for making decisions; given limited resources, every choice reduces your options for doing other things so what paths give the greatest net benefit?

My main reason for going down though was that I’m due to be chairing the opening session at the same conference tomorrow, on the subject of information governance. I wanted to get a feel for the conference in order to be able to suitably finish my preparations. Job done; now just a few more miles to get back to the office.

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