UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Options for our future digital health

28 November 2019, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Cartoon of a Swiss cheese factory

With Prof Harold Thimbleby (Swansea University). The Millennium Bug affected many computers worldwide, and it is still an object lesson in how dramatic computer bugs can be.

This event is free.

Event Information

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UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Malet Place Engineering Building
Gower Street


What we choose to learn from any bug leads us into different options for our future with digital health. Twenty years on from the Millennium, however, we are being pulled down the path of innovation. We are not observing basic engineering precautions, and patients and healthcare professionals are being – and will continue to be – unnecessarily harmed by poor digital health.

(You’ll have to read Harold Thimbleby’s book to find out why the cover is a Heath Robinson drawing of a Swiss Cheese factory!)

About the Speaker

Prof Harold Thimbleby

See Change Fellow in Digital Health at Swansea University

Prof Harold Thimbleby is See Change Fellow in Digital Health, based at Swansea University, Wales. He is currently in the final stages of completing his book, Fix IT: Stories from the frontline of Healthcare IT (Oxford University Press, 2020). He is a popular speaker, and has been invited to talk in over 30 countries.

Harold is Expert Advisor on IT to the Royal College of Physicians, a member of the World Health Organization’s Patient Safety Network, Patient Safety Council Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and an advisor to the Clinical Human Factors Group and to the UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).   

Harold won the British Computer Society's Wilkes Medal; He has been a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder and a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow, and he is 28th Gresham Professor of Geometry. His last book, Press On: Principles of Interaction Programming (MIT Press), won several international awards. Harold has been an expert witness in NHS criminal cases; his work exposing problems in digital healthcare has stopped nurses going to prison.     

Although a professor of computer science, he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians, of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. Harold is also a patient. He has neuropathy, which makes everyday activities like walking and writing painful.

More about Prof Harold Thimbleby