UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Researchers develop a 'GPS system' for tracking viruses

The method can track viral outbreaks and help bring them under control


28 February 2019

Viral infections like influenza and HIV cost the NHS over £2 billion each year. The ICONIC (Infection response through virus genomics) project created a method using genetic data from viruses as well as electronic health records to visualise viral outbreaks and bring them under control. 

This has significant implications for improving patient care and controlling the spread of infectious outbreaks. It was used to successfully control a major hospital outbreak of influenza. 

The project was led by Prof Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care), who said: “This was an immense interdisciplinary team effort involving multiple academic and NHS partners led from the UCL Institute of Health Informatics."

The project was co-funded by Wellcome Trust and NIHR. The team was awarded a Healthcare Technologies Award at the 2018 IET Awards.

Related link:
UCL project tracking viruses through time and space