Clinical research using LInked Bespoke studies and Electronic health Records


CALIBER is a unique research platform consisting of ‘research ready’ variables extracted from linked electronic health records (EHR) from primary care, coded hospital records, social deprivation information and cause-specific mortality data in England.

Led from the UCL Institute of Health Informatics and the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, London, CALIBER enables researchers to recreate the longitudinal journey of patients (‘from cradle to the grave’) through care pathways to study disease onset and progression. Our aim is to foster an open community developing methods and tools to accelerate replicable science across all clinical and scientific disciplines spanning the translational cycle (from drug discovery through to public health).

The resource consists of data up to 2016 encompassing more than 10 million adults with 400 million person-years of follow-up, disease and risk factor phenotyping algorithms, methods, tools and scripts, specialised infrastructure and training and support. 


CALIBER news & events

New paper on serotonin reuptake inhibitors and mortality in epilepsy

Premature mortality in epilepsy is a major concern facing general practitioners, neurologists, and epileptologists alike. In addition, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a specific cause of death and a major health concern for people with epilepsy. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) may have particular promise as a therapeutic intervention because they increase mental vigilance, promote respiratory activity, and may prevent sudden death.  

Published: Sep 26, 2017 4:59:03 PM

Applying for Independent Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) approval for research: a CALIBER seminar

On 23 June 2017, the UCL Institute of Health Informatics and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) co-led a seminar for researchers on the processes required to access linked health data for research, under the CALIBER programme.  The seminar addressed opportunities for using CPRD primary care data linked to hospital and national registry data for research, and provided an overview of the approvals body, the Independent Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC), and how to apply to use CPRD linked data and the ISAC review process.  Slides from the seminar are available here.

Published: Jul 4, 2017 4:08:38 PM

CALIBER Collaborative Big Health Data Challenge winner

We are delighted to announce the winner of the CALIBER collaborative grand challenge is Dr Yoryos Lyratzopoulos from the UCL Epidemiology of Cancer Healthcare and Outcomes Group.  Dr Lyratzopoulos and his team (Dr Annie Herbert and Dr Cristina Renzi (UCL Department of Behavioural Science and Health) and Prof Kathy Prichard-Jones (UCL Institute of Child Health)) will submit a full proposal for approval by the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) Independent Scientific Advisory Committee to carry out research into the likelihood of cancer and serious non-neoplastic diseases among primary care consultees using linked CPRD data under the CALIBER programme of research. 

Published: May 18, 2017 3:34:21 PM

New paper on low eosinophil and lymphocyte counts 

Eosinophil and lymphocyte counts are commonly performed in clinical practice. Previous studies provide conflicting evidence of association with cardiovascular diseases.

Published: Nov 9, 2016 12:10:36 PM

10m people, 400m person years follow-up


  • General practice, hospital inpatient, outpatient and A&E data and mortality data up to March 2016
  • Diagnoses of all diseases including rare Mendelian and syndromes
  • Clinical examination findings (e.g. blood pressure, weight, height) 
  • Blood laboratory results
  • Prescriptions and vaccinations
  • Primary care consultations and hospitalisations
  • Cause of death

Methods and Tools

  • Structured approach to develop and validate phenotyping algorithms
  • Central online repository for the storage and distribution of algorithms, documentation and metadata

Specialised Infrastructure 

  • ISO27001 compliant data safe haven environment 
  • High performance computing platforms to support computationally intensive research 

Training and Support

  • Specialist training to equip researchers with the skills and knowledge to code and analyse large, linked datasets
  • Data safe haven and information governance

CALIBER operates a collaboration-driven data sharing model and promotes the transparent and scalable use of EHR data for research. We work alongside academic, National Health Service and commercial partners to facilitate collaboration and use of the CALIBER platform, including access to linked data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) for research, from development of research proposals through to release of data in the CALIBER data safe haven.

Click below for details about the CALIBER platform and access to the data portal and tools

Data Resource Profile
Information about the CALIBER platform
Data Portal
Electronic health record phenotyping algorithms
Tools and scripts for manipulating electronic health records
Request access to CALIBER Data Portal

CALIBER has research ethics approval (09/H0810/16) and ECC approval (ECC 2-06(b)/2009 CALIBER dataset) and initial funding was provided by the Wellcome Trust (086091/Z/08/Z) and the National Institute for Health Research (RP-PG-0407- 10314).

Data Lab

Data lab

At the intersection of clinical research and computer science, the Data Lab seeks to develop data-driven computational methods and tools for exploiting electronic health records for biomedical research.

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By providing a complete picture of patients’ health care utilisation and deep longitudinal phenotyping, CALIBER has become a leading research platform for the understanding of health progression.

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CALIBER Resources


Frequently asked questions on who can use CALIBER, how to apply to use the CALIBER resource, fees and capacity building.

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Resources including sample ISAC application forms, agreements and forms are available to guide researchers through the application process. 

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Contact and support

Contact and support

Click below for contact details regarding information about the CALIBER resource, fees and support, or to discuss potential collaboration for specific enquiries about existing CALIBER projects.

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Please click here for a full list of publications using CALIBER data.

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