There remain many unanswered questions in medical research about both the prevention and treatment of disease, but new technologies are opening up new opportunities to provide insights. One approach, in particular, the capacity to assemble and analyse very large health datasets, is underpinning the work of both speakers addressing problems at both ends of life. Kazem Rahimi is utilising innovative digital technologies and large healthcare datasets to find better approaches to managing established cardiovascular disease including heart failure. Terry Dwyer, on the other hand, is pooling data on one million mothers and babies to help uncover causes of childhood cancer - an area where, despite considerable effort, little progress has been made over recent decades.?