INSIGHT is an NHS initiative led by Moorfields to make routinely collected patient eye data available for approved research that could lead to improvements in diagnosis, care and treatment of eye diseases, as well as systemic disease such as stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Our story

The origin of INSIGHT is a 2016 research collaboration between Moorfields and DeepMind Technologies (now, Google DeepMind).

Building on data analysis and curation expertise developed during the research collaboration, in addition to computing infrastructure, INSIGHT was founded in October 2019 as a partnership between Moorfields and University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) — one of seven digital innovation hubs funded through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with support from Health Data Research UK (HDRUK), the national institute for health data science.

In September 2022, after the UKRI grant award ending, Moorfields became the lead organisation for INSIGHT, with UHB continuing as a key NHS partner. The Hub now forms an integral part of the broader INSIGHT Programme, which includes development of novel artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based health data analytics and research tools, and globally renowned clinical research leadership. 


How we advance research

INSIGHT has grown to become the world’s largest ophthalmic bio-resource, using cloud-based technology to allow analysis of millions of retinal images and linked clinical records. 

This capability allows authorised researchers to use the large-scale datasets and potentially identify links (which might otherwise be missed) in eye disease and a range of related health conditions. 

The INSIGHT Programme works in a sustainable way, generating revenue to cover operating costs, creating efficiency and added value through research engagement, and raising revenue that is reinvested into the NHS.


Involving patients

We involve patients in every aspect of our work, including decisions on who can access patient data for research. Patients and members of the public sit on our Data Trust Advisory Board, which meets regularly to scrutinise each application for data access.  

To find out more about the important role played by patients at INSIGHT, please visit our web page


Some of our recent research breakthroughs include:

Detecting Parkinson's Disease up to six years before symptoms appear, using retinal scans.

The world's first artificial intelligence (AI) foundation model for eye health, accelerating research into preventable blindness and many other diseases.

Using AI to create an early warning system for patients with age-related macular disease (AMD).


Applying for Access

Collaboration is key to maximising the potential of INSIGHT data for sight-saving breakthroughs. We encourage interested researchers to contact us before submitting a formal data request. This allows us to advise on relevant datasets and application requirements. 



Discover who we are, and our work enabling eye care advances, on our website.