Dundee is to become a "centre of excellence" in electronic health research as part of a new £19m investment program.
Four facilities are being set up across the UK through a partnership government and charity funds. The other three will be based in London, Manchester and Swansea.
They will open towards the end of the year, with the aim of putting health records at the heart of medical research in the UK.
Each centre will aim to carry out cutting-edge research that links electronic health records with other forms of research and data.
Professor Andrew Morris, dean of the Dundee University's school of medicine, said: "This builds upon over 40 years' experience of using electronic patient records not only to drive improvements in the quality of healthcare in Scotland but also to innovate in the way we deliver clinical trials and discover the best treatment options for patients and communities."
A range of health conditions will be investigated, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Researchers aim to identify more effective treatments, improve drug safety, assess risks to public health and study the causes of diseases and disability.
Professor Sir John Savill, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, said: "This is a watershed moment for data research and for the Medical Research Council, which I believe will deliver the benefits of e-health research, improving patient care over the coming years.
"The way in which the partner organisations have come together to invest in e-health underpins its importance and will help establish the UK as a world leader in this field."
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts added: "Thanks to the NHS and the UK's world-leading research base, we are uniquely positioned to use patient data to study disease and develop better treatments.
"The e-health centres are the first of their kind and have the potential to revolutionise health research. They will provide a vital insight into conditions affecting millions of people and ultimately bring benefits for patients."