Increase our understanding of health conditions, detect diseases earlier and develop new tests and treatments

The aim of the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank is to get patients, clinicians and researchers working together to:

  • increase our understanding of health conditions
  • detect diseases earlier
  • develop new tests and treatments

To do this, we are creating a database of patients who are interested in taking part in research studies and allow us to store small biological samples for research and teaching purposes.

A small version of this database has been running for several years. We are now expanding it so more patients can join. The more patients and samples we have, the more insight and knowledge we can build.

Find out more or call: 020 7594 2314

What joining the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank means

If you join the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank, we will ask to use your anonymised clinical information, such as a scan, for research and training. We will also ask you at your next routine appointment for blood tests, if we can take two small, extra samples for research.
We will ask you if we can contact you if you are suitable to take part in a research project or clinical trial relevant to your condition. If a study or trial comes up, we will contact you and explain what it is and ask for your permission to share your contact details with the researcher running it. You have the right to say yes or no and there is no obligation to take part.

By joining the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank, you also have the option to receive an e-newsletter from us about how our latest research advances are helping to improvement treatment and care, as well as invitations to events.

Opting out

There is no obligation to join the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank. If you decide not to, it will not affect the standard of care you receive. If you join, you can decide to withdraw for any time and you do not need to give a reason. You will only be added to the database if you complete a consent form – it will not happen automatically.

Benefits of taking part

Even if you do not benefit personally from research carried out using your samples and data, the results may benefit patients with your type of illness in the future.

Most results relating to individual research studies will not be given to you or your doctor. On rare occasions, research projects could identify something that would change your diagnosis or treatment. Or the research may indicate an inherited disease that could affect you or your family member. If this happens, your doctor will be notified.

We do not pay patients for taking part in the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank. Your sample will not be sold to researchers. The use of your samples and data may lead to the development of new drugs, treatments or tests by both academic and commercial organisations.

Giving biological samples for research

When you come to hospital your care team will perform tests and procedures to diagnose and treat your condition. These may involve removing fluids, like blood, pieces of tissue or a whole organ – known as biological samples. These samples are sent to a lab to be tested by doctors or scientists.

Not all of the biological samples are needed for diagnosis. When you join the Imperial Health Knowledge Bank, you consent for any biological samples not used to help diagnose and treat your condition, to be kept for research.

If you are having a biopsy procedure, two or three extra samples may be taken for research, which may mean the procedure could take a few extra minutes. If you are having a blood test, we will take up to 20ml (two tablespoons) of blood for research. 

After treatment, your doctor may invite you to hospital to take other biological samples. Researchers may keep these samples to compare them with the original samples.

Testing for inherited diseases

Genes are made out of DNA and can influence disease. From the biological samples you donate, we may analyse or store a sample of your DNA. Using laboratory techniques, now or in the future, we may determine your genetic make-up. This could include determining the sequence of all or part of your DNA code. We will not disclose information about your genetic make up to anyone and your personal identifiable information will never be shared without your permission.

Find out more

Contact us for more information or call 020 7594 2314.