UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences


*POSTPONED* Dr Database: health surveillance for the public good

12 March 2020, 6:30 pm–9:30 pm

Under surveillance: how is our health data being used?

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been postponed and is planned to be rescheduled later in the year.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences


Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre
UCL Roberts Engineering Building
Torrington Place
United Kingdom

About the event

Technology is playing a bigger than ever part in our healthcare. In this year's annual Faculty of Population Health Sciences public event, we explore the balancing act between having longer, healthier lives and entrusting others with our data.

Here at UCL our researchers are using big data to address a range of public health concerns, from understanding the causes of dementia, to improving life expectancy for people experiencing homelessness, to improving health for children and families. But how can we be sure that our personal data is safe in their hands? 

Three special guest speakers will present how they’re using big data for the public good. A panel discussion, chaired by broadcaster Vivienne Parry OBE, will follow exploring the ethical concerns and trust issues surrounding big data in an increasingly digitised world of healthcare. 


  • Dr Rob Aldridge | Improving life expectancy for people experiencing homelessness
  • Maxine Mackintosh | Mining the wrong data for predictors of dementia
  • Professor Ruth Gilbert | Linking administrative data for children and families

Panel discussion chaired by Vivienne Parry OBE


18.30: Registration 
19.00 – 20.30: Talks and Panel Discussion
20.30 – 21.30: Drinks and canapés 

Venue: Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, UCL Roberts Engineering Building, Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7JE

Join the conversation on Twitter: @UCLPopHealthSci #DrDatabase

About the Speakers

Dr Rob Aldridge

Associate Professor

Dr Rob Aldridge uses data and digital technologies to investigate and improve the health of the public. Rob’s research interests are broad, but he has a particular focus on making invisible populations visible by establishing the burden of disease in migrants, homeless, prisoners, sex workers and individuals with substance use disorders. Rob is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow at the UCL Institute of Health Informatics.

More about Dr Rob Aldridge

Maxine Mackintosh

Co-founder One HealthTech

Maxine Mackintosh is a researcher working at the intersection of data science and dementia at UCL. Her PhD involves mining medical records for new predictors for dementia. She is passionate about understanding how we might make better use of routinely collected data to improve our cognitive health. She is Co-founder of One HealthTech, a global, volunteer-led, grassroots community that supports and promotes under-represented groups to be future leaders in health innovation.

More about Maxine Mackintosh

Professor Ruth Gilbert

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology

Ruth Gilbert is a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Currently, she is the Co-Director of the Children and Families Policy Research Unit and she is Theme Lead for Public Health within Health Data Research London. Until recently, she was Deputy Director for the Administrative Data Research Centre for England, where she developed research initiatives involving cross-sectoral linkages between health and non-health data and established a record linkage methodology group. 

More about Professor Ruth Gilbert

Vivienne Parry OBE

Science Writer and Broadcaster

Vivienne Parry OBE is a writer and broadcaster. A scientist by training, Vivienne hosts medical programmes for BBC Radio 4, writes widely on health, presents films, facilitates many high profile conferences and trains young researchers.

More about Vivienne Parry OBE