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Spotlight on 🔦Dr Raphael Olaiya🔦

Dr Raphael Olaiya General Practitioner and Health Data Scientist


Twitter: @drraphael

Instagram: @drraphaelll

What does your job actually entail?

I work part time as a medical doctor in emergency medicine and general practice for half the week and the other half I work as a health data scientist in the NHS and also for digital health start up companies.

The value of my skills set really comes down to being an experienced clinician and an active data science practitioner involved in academic circles of health data science. I tend to find having these two domains allows me to add value to most health data science projects which could otherwise be missed or take a long time to expose (the value).

My role as a lead health data scientist involves aligning the organisation’s key objectives with the data science opportunity and projects they are involved in and building the projects from scratch all the way to deployment and development. I report directly to CEOs, COOs as an advisor on data strategy and business development. The specific type of data science project I work on includes machine learning engineering using health data kept in electronic health records and statistical inference for better business intelligence and business decision science.

Specific digital health areas I’ve worked in include: digital pharmacy, lifestyle data aggregation for diabetes and weight managment in primary care and geolocation based health inequality visualisation. On a day to day basis I collaborate and lead other advanced technical data science practitioners to ensure efficient progress is being made. I am a big fan of agile scrum methodology when it comes to getting data science, I think its a superb way to ensure speedy progress and to catch potential problems before they develop.

Here is the geolocation based health inequality visualisation tool I built for a start up:

What should people reach out to you for help on/with?

  • If you are looking for an expert in the domains of clinical management of obesity, diabetes, weight management and lifestyle management.

  • If you are having trouble or need help working with NHS data sets.

  • If you need help navigating the CQC or applying for a CQC license for your organisation.

What would like help with from members of the DSxHE community?

APIs and internet of things

If you have experience with dealing with a wide range of API’s and internet of things for digital health including wearables, I would like to hear from you. In primary care we have a massive new opportunity currently to incorporate APIs from wearables and IoT into wellbeing optimisation and disease management which could be revolutionary for our health system.

Advanced academic statiticians

I have a lot of access to primary health data in areas of pharmacy, lifestyle data and disease management and I keep always have academic projects on the go, I am always on the look for statisticians who are keen to be involved in these projects. I work with alot of clinicians who need statisticians for academic projects also.


What’s your interest in data science and/or health equity?

Data Science is the gateway to the next step in healthcare in all areas in my opinion. Healthcare 3.0 is directly dependent on data science. As health technology advances health equity is not necessarily advancing and this is a critical problem that if unmanaged, it will worsen. We are seeing infront of out eyes 2 systems of healthcare developing, one for those who have resources and one for those who don’t to the point that, advanced healthcare and digital health facilities are being developed and designed for a specific demographic of people and not everyone. I am passionate about making healthcare 3.0 for everyone not just a certain strata of people.

What’s a topic in data science/health equity that you know/care a lot about

  • Obesity, weight, diabetes, lifestyle management.

  • Aggregating lifestyle data together with medical data for more personalised healthcare for patients.

  • Digital pharmacy.

  • Geographical health inequality in the UK.

What’s a skill/expertise you have in data science/health equity - How did you learn/develop it and how might others do so to?

During my master in health data science at UCL (2019) I learned to code in Python and ever since then I’ve been coding in various research and industry products and projects. I would advise any clinician looking to learn how to code and become a practitioner of Python to use a wide range of resources all at the same time to see which style of learning suits them best. is my personal favourite.


What is your go-to karaoke song?

Journey - Don’t Stop Believing

What movie do you enjoy quoting the most?


What do you think the meaning of life is?

To explore our potential as people!


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