UCL Institute of Health Informatics

Prof Harry Hemingway

Prof Harry Hemingway

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology

Institute of Health Informatics

Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Joined UCL
23rd May 1997

Research summary

The central focus of Harry’s research is to develop underpinning methods to exploit the scale and phenotypic resolution of electronic health records (EHR) to accelerate early and late phase translational research. Harry has an H index of 71 with 28,000 citations, over 350 publications and over 20 years’ experience in Science Leadership using electronic health record data across early and late phases of translational research. His research is cited in seven major clinical guidelines and public health policies with implications for the health of millions. 

Harry is currently an Investigator on 20 active grants which collectively total more than £25 million. Of these, Harry is Principle Investigator on 8 grants including two HDR UK awards totally £8.1 million and £75,000 NIHR Senior Investigator grant.

Harry’s research exploiting clinical record linkages has had impacted 3 areas: public health policy; international clinical practice impacting millions of patients with, or at risk of, cardiovascular diseases; and national policy on data and informatics.

1.            Public Health Policy

Harry’s research is cited in recommendations to address social inequalities in health (Independent inquiry into inequalities in health (the Acheson Report 1998, White Paper Public Health Strategy in England, Saving Lives: Our healthier nation 1999) informing development of WHO’s European policy on social inequalities in health.

2.            International clinical practice

Harry co-authored the European guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice which included citations to his research on depression (e.g. Nicholson EHJ, 2006), and practice changing recommendations on assessment of depression. Additionally, Harry’s research into this is cited in multiple NICE guidelines: CG95 2010 and CG126 2011 as well as in the European Society of Cardiology Guidelines on the management of atrial fibrillation 2016. In these guidelines Harry’s research directly led to change in recommendations so that women would receive safer, targeted anti-coagulation.

3.            National Policy on data and informatics

For example, Harry has contributed to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee ‘Algorithms in decision making’ 2018, the Watcher Report on NHS IT in 2016 and the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport ‘National Data Strategy’.

Teaching summary

As Director of the UCL Institute of Health Informatics (2014-) Harry has grown the largest training programme in health informatics. There are now 160 current postgraduate students on 3 MSc and PhD programmes, two new MScs in Data Science in Health (2015) and Health Data Analytics (2017) have been launched. IHI also hosts an NHS Graduate Management Trainee Programme and 13 short courses which reaches 350 students. The Institute also delivers a new inter-related Doctoral Training Programmes in Health Informatics, securing funding for 20 PhDs.

Additionally, Harry has contributed to the national training strategy. For example, in 2016 Harry gave evidence to the Wachter NHS IT Review 2016, informing national NHS training policy, leading to the establishment of the £6m NHS Digital Academy and Global Digital Exemplars. In 2018 HDR UK began funding a training lead (Chelala) to develop national strategy, including networking 15 UKRI Rutherford fellows.

Harry is committed to supporting new career paths and has done so through tools development; recognising the importance of this he recruited (2009, on Wellcome Trust grant) and mentored Spiros Denaxas, who has now been promoted to full Professor of Biomedical Informatics in 2019. Additionally Harry appointed and mentored the UK’s first full time Chief Clinical Research Informatics Officer (CCRIO)  (Wong, 2017-), and the first NHS Clinical Research Informatics Unit Director, UCLH (Dr Asselbergs).  Harry is/has been primary supervisor for 12 clinical academics and three Early Career Fellowships.

Harry has engaged in international teaching for example at a 10 day Cardiovascular seminar in Grenada, West Indies 2016 and at the Summer School in Data and Informatics UCL/ Utrecht, NL 2016-. As PI of MRC PROGRESS Harry advanced the discipline of prognosis research using clinical data (>1000 citations for article series, popular teaching course internationally (Erasmus, Rotterdam, Netherlands and Keele > 2010- > 500 students, new journal (‘Diagnosis and Prognosis Research’ and authored 3 chapters in accompanying textbook (OUP, 2019).


Royal College of Physicians
Doctorate, Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health | 2005
Royal College of Physicians
Doctorate, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians | 2005
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1995
University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery | 1988
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1985


As a clinician scientist with over 25 years of leadership in using rapidly changing patient and population data resources for research, Harry has contributed to establishing, growing and critically evaluating the field of data science for health nationally and internationally. 

In recognition of his contribution to advancing medical science and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society, Harry was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019.

Harry’s aim is to mobilize insights gained from increasing scale and detail of data for health and healthcare within a framework of public trust. He seeks to execute science and innovation, develop tools and infrastructure and develop new careers, disciplines and talent in data science for health. 

Harry is currently Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Institute Director at the UCL Institute of Health Informatics. Since 2018, Harry is also Research Director at Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) London, bringing together 5 London universities (UCL, Imperial College London, Kings College London, Queen Mary University London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in partnerships for data science for health.