Computing technologies for Healthcare

The School pioneers healthcare technologies that target applications in computational biology, intelligent social agents, decision support tools, brain computer interfaces and health monitoring. There is a strong culture of inter-disciplinary research and training via several links that include Glasgow Polyomics, Institute of Cancer Sciences, MRC Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory, Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, the Adam Smith Business School, the School of Critical Studies, the School of Engineering, the Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy. Statistical machine learning approaches are developed to target questions in cancer and virus evolution, provide decision support based on Electronic Health Records and develop intelligent agents that sense human neurophysiology and provide support in mental and psychiatric disorders that include dementia, autism and depression. The School has more than 30 years’ experience in information retrieval that relates to privacy issues and fair-representations in sensitive data. The School is also involved in building the next generation of quantum imaging technology for monitoring of Wellbeing and disease.

Theme Lead: Dr Fani Deligianni

Kidney exchange - cycles

Academic Staff

Dr. Christos Anagnostopoulos, (Pervasive and Distributed Intelligence)

Prof. Stephen Brewster, (Human Computer Interactions technologies for mental disorders)

Dr. Jeff Dalton, AI Turing Fellow and former member of Google Health, (NLP, Deep Learning)

Dr. Fani Deligianni, (Decision support  systems, analysis of neurophysiological data)

Dr. Jessica Enright, (Graph theory in epidemiology research)

Dr. Mary Ellen Foster, (Building artificial characters that interact naturally with people)

Dr Bjorn Jensen, (Biomedical imaging)

Dr. Craig MacDonald, (Information Retrieval)

Prof. David Manlove, (Matching problems in the field of algorithms and complexity)

Dr. Nikos Ntarmos, (Distributed (Big) data management)

Prof. Iadh Ounis, (Information Retrieval)

Dr. William Pettersson, (Complexity theory, Theoretical efficiency of an algorithm)

Dr. Kitty Meeks, (Graph theory in epidemiology research, clustering algorithms) 

Dr. Lito Michala (Internet of Things)

Prof. Roderick Murray-Smith, (Inference, Dynamics and Interaction)

Dr. Jose Cano Reyes, (Computer Architecture, Edge Computing, Deep Learning)

Dr. Simon Rogers (Bioinformatics)

Prof. Alessandro Vinciarelli, (Computational Social Intelligence)

Dr John Williamson, (Human Computer Interfaces in healthcare applications)

Dr. Ke Yuan (Bioinformatics and cancer research)



  • A multi-million project on how quantum imaging will enable remote detection and monitoring of parameters such as gait, macro and micro-movements, blood flow, heart rate and potentially even brain function. When combined with data-driven models, will allow to both monitor health and the onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) but also recovery from NCDs or surgery with personalised and continuously updated re-habilitation programmes.
    Funded by EPSRC - Quantum Imaging for Monitoring of Wellbeing & Disease in Communities, Prof. Roderick Murray-Smith (Co-I), 2020-2025.
  • A broad project about novel algorithmic techniques to handle network datasets involving qualitatively different types of edges (for example, physical and online contact in a social network) involves two application case studies related to healthcare: finding optimal epidemiological interventions when a disease spreads in a multi-layer networks, and identifying spatial patterns in disease risk for non-communicable diseases. 
    Funded by EPSRC, Multilayer Algorithmics to Leverage Graph Structure (MultilayerALGS), Dr. Kitty Meeks, Dr. Jessica Enright, Prof Duncan Lee, Dr. Mark Wong, Dr. Heng Guo (University of Edinburgh), 2020-2023.
  • A multi-million project on ‘Closed-loop Data Science’ applied in several areas including personalisation of hearing aids and analysis of cancer data.
    Funded by EPSRC, Closed-Loop Data Science for Complex, Computationally- and Data-Intensive Analytics, Prof. Roderick Murray-Smith, Dr. Craig Macdonald, Dr. Nikos Darmos, Prof. Iadh Iounis, Dr. Ke Yuan, Dr. Simon Rogers, Dr. Christos Anagnostopoulos, Dr. Bjorn Jensen, Dr. John Williamson, 2018-2022.
  • Developing search technologies for precision medicine and biomedical text. It come 2nd among 25 groups worldwide in the TREC Precision Medicine campaign in November (NIST, USA). The developed system was also one of the best performing among 50 participating groups in the TREC COVID campaign to automatically distil information from published articles as the pandemic progressed.
    Funded by UFMG (Brazil), Dr Craig Macdonald and Prof. Iadh Ounis, 2020-2022.
  • This project will enhance capacity to understand SARS-CoV-2/hCoV-19 infection in three regions of Africa (Kenya, The Gambia and Uganda) and globally.
    Funded by Wellcome Trust - African COVID-19 preparedness (AFRICO19), Dr. Ke Yuan (Co-I), 2020-2022.
  • Over 1200 kidney transplants identified by the algorithms developed at Glasgow that match patients and donors for the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme have proceeded to surgery. This is estimated to have saved the NHS around £90M over the period 2008-2030, taking into account the cost of the surgery versus the savings made by releasing a patient from long-term dialysis. Read more in these two articles: ‘How Operational Research Helps Kidney Patients in the UK’ and ‘Algorithms for Kidney Donation’ 
    Funded by CA15210 - European Network for Collaboration on Kidney Exchange Programmes, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), Prof. David Manlove & Dr. William Pettersson, 2016-2021
  • iCaird - the Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics. This is a multi-million project that aims to exploit Artificial Intelligence techniques to discover new insights within health data and democratise secure access to clinical data.
    Funded by Innovate UK, Prof. Rod Murray-Smith, Prof. Muffy Calder, Dr. Bjorn Sand Jensen and Dr. John Williamson, 2018 – 2021.
  • This project promotes collaboration with the Scottish Autism Centre and it aims to teach social skills to autistic adults via robots.
    Funded by EPSRC – A Robot Training Buddy for Adults with ASD, Prof. Alessandro Vinciarelli and Dr. Mary Ellen Foster, 2017-2021.
  • EngD Scholarship on ‘Asking questions about medical images’. This project focuses on a range of methodological approaches in computer vision and natural language processing, which collectively support answering questions about 2D and 3D radiology images.
    Funded by Canon Medical Systems, Maciej Pajak, Dr. Fani Deligianni, Dr. Jeff Dalton, 2020-2024.
  • PhD Scholarship on Applying machine learning models to genome data to understand the evolution of drug resistance from virus to cancer evolution. 
    Funded by MRC Precision Medicine DTP, Dr. Ke Yuan, 2020-2024.
  • PhD Scholarship on A Network Clustering Approach to Endometriosis Diagnosis.
    Funded by MRC Precision Medicine DTP, Dr. Kitty Meeks, Dr Douglas Gibson (University of Edinburgh, Dr Craig Anderson, Prof Andrew Horne (University of Edinburgh), 2019-2023.
  • A high-content platform for cellular mechanobiology in cancer research
    Funded by CRUK, Dr Bjorn Jensen, 2018-2021.
  • The project aims to develop technological solutions of handling wearable data based on deep learning to address ethical and data privacy considerations of patients and their social cycle.
    Funded by Human Data Interaction EPSRC Network - Human Motion Analysis – Agency, Negotiation and Legibility in Data Handling, Dr. Fani Deligianni, 2020-2021.
  • EngD project on multi-modal and self-supervised machine learning for medical image analysis
    Funded by Canon Medical Research (Edinburgh), Dr. Bjorn Jensen, 2018-2021.
  • PhD Placement Mobility grant on ‘Endoscopic Surgery Image Enhancement’, which aims to design hardware architectures to remove unwanted distortions in the input pixels due to surgical smoke or fog particles for real-time operations.
    Funded by Newton Bhabha Fund, Dr Jose Cano Reyes, 2020-2021.
  • Fast multi-shot epidemic interventions for post lockdown Covid-19 mitigation: Open-loop mitigation strategies.
    Funded by EPSRC, Prof. Roderick Murray-Smith, 2020.
  • The network aims to design, develop and evaluate novel technologies to enable mental health services that are effective, affordable and accessible for young people.
    Funded by H2020 International Training Network “Technology Enabled Mental Health for Young People”, Prof. Steven Brewster, 2016-2020. 
  • This project focused on developing an automated mix and infusion system that monitored hypoglycaemia, prepared the glucagon and injected just in time to avoid loss of consciousness. The IoT device was edge processing information locally and only connected to a smartphone app to securely inform careers if intervention was required and alarm patients to take further action.
    Royal Society of Edinburgh/Scottish Enterprise Entrepreneurial Fellowship CH12 on Clydescope Health, Dr Anna Lito Michala, 2018-2019.
  • A feasibility study to explore the applicability of different statistical clustering techniques to datasets relating to (i) patients treated for heart failure and (ii) patients undergoing diagnostic surgery for suspected endometriosis.
    Funded by Scottish Crucible Seed Funding, Biometric Sociology for Personalised Medicine, Dr. Kitty Meeks, Dr. Craig Anderson, Dr. Douglas Gibson (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Ify Mordi (University of Dundee), 2019.
  • Analysis of attachment patterns in school age children with collaboration with the Adverse Childhood Experiences Centre  
    Funded by EPSRC – ‘SAM: Automated Attachment Analysis Using the School Attachment Monitor’, Prof. Steven Brewster, and Prof Alessandro Vinciarelli, 2015-2018.

How to join

Funded PhD Opportunities on healthcare applications are provided via the following main routes:

Visit University of Glasgow vacancies for job opportunities.


Upcoming events

HealthCare Seminar: Deep Medicine: machine learning meets large-scale epidemiology and population health

Group: Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Speaker: Prof. Kazem Rahimi / Dr. Mohammad Hossein Mamouei, University of Oxford
Date: 28 April, 2021
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: zoom-HealthcareSeminar

Abstract: This talk will first provide an overview of the claimed expectations from machine learning and AI in medicine. It criticises the misconceptions around personalised medicine in the context of multi-cause conditions such as cardiovascular diseases. It then provides a general overview of the machine learning research at Deep Medicine with examples of how this is guiding research and could lead to better decision making in clinical practice. Examples will primarily focus on the application of a range of machine learning models to complex Electronic Health Records for risk prediction, co-morbidity and patient clustering, risk factor identification, causal inference and model interpretability. 

Kazem Rahimi is a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Population Health, at the University of Oxford and a consultant cardiologist at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. His research interests include hypertension, heart failure, multimorbidity and cardiovascular risk management, using a variety of methodologies such as individual-patient meta-analysis, large-scale decentralised clinical trials, and digital health technologies.

Kazem leads the Deep Medicine programme at the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health with a major interest in the application of machine learning approaches to electronic health records. He also leads the Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration (BPLTTC), which is an international collaboration of all the major trials of blood pressure lowering drugs. He is the Director of the Martin School Programme on Informal Cities and a Co-Investigator of the PEAK-Urban programme.

Dr. Mohammadhossein Mamouei is a Machine Learning Scientist at the University of Oxford. As a member of the interdisciplinary research group, Deep Medicine led by Prof Kazem Rahimi, Mo specialises in the applications of machine learning on large-scale electronic health records to extract new insights and develop models for prognostication and diagnostication. He is involved in the PEAK Urban and Informal Cities programmes where he focuses on the effects of environmental and sociodemographic factors on health outcomes. 

Before joining the University of Oxford, he was a postdoctoral researcher at City, University of London focusing on the analysis of high-dimensional optical spectra and bio-signals, and a research assistant at University of Southampton focusing on urban mobility. 

Mo's educational background is in Applied Mathematics-Systems and Modelling (PhD, City, University of London), and Electrical Engineering (MSc, City, University of London & BSc, Iran University of Science and Technology).

He also leads a team of data scientists at a charity, Apart of Me, that has embarked upon the ambitious project of delivering the first mobile game to help children cope with bereavement.

Computational Biology Conference

Group: Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Speaker: Prof Robert Insall, Dr Breda Cullen, Dr Richard Reeve, Dr Mayetri Gupta, University of Glasgow
Date: 27 May, 2021
Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Organised by staff and PhD students, the First University of Glasgow Computational Biology Conferences aims to bring together researchers across the University of Glasgow who are interested or work in the field of computational biology. Topics of interest including but not limited to: computational approaches in omics, systems biology, population genetics, medical imaging, public health and clinical data. The conference will take place in the afternoons of 27th and 28th of May. We are pleased to confirm our keynote speakers: Prof Robert Insall, Dr Breda Cullen, Dr Richard Reeve, and Dr Mayetri Gupta. 

We welcome abstract submissions from early career researchers and PhD students. Abstract deadline is April 30th, 2021. Abstract submission form available on our website:

Register to attend here

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to drop us a message:

HealthCare Seminar: TBC

Group: Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Speaker: Dr Kitty Meeks, University of Glasgow
Date: 27 May, 2021
Time: 14:00 - 15:00


As a child, she dreamed of becoming a professional cake decorator. However, it soon became clear that her future was more likely to lie in mathematics.

She went on to obtain an MMath in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Oxford (Merton College) in 2009; She stayed in Oxford, working under the supervision of Alex Scott, to complete my DPhil in Mathematics (with a thesis entitled Graph Colourings and Games) in 2013. From 2012 to 2014, she was a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, working with Mark Jerrum on the EPSRC-funded project Computational Counting.

She came to the University of Glasgow in 2014, where she held a lectureship in the School of Mathematics and Statistics for two years. In October 2016 she moved to the School of Computing Science, where she currently hold a five-year Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship (funded by the Scottish Government).

International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Mental Health

Group: Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Date: 08 June, 2021
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Location: Zoom

The World Health Organisation states that mental health problems costs the global economy one trillion US dollars each year, whereas in UK, mental health services report that 19.7% of people over 16 years old show symptoms of anxiety and depression. The latest interactive technologies of social robots and virtual reality, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) promise new approaches for clinical treatment of psychiatric, developmental and cognitive problems. This workshop brings together experts in AI, computing and mental health, from both academia and industry, that work towards the development of new, computing based methodologies for detection, treatment and analysis of mental health issues. Besides providing an extensive overview of the state-of-the-art in the domain, the workshop aims at helping young researchers (including PhD students and postdocs) and raise awareness of multidisciplinary opportunities of computing and medical sciences in mental health.


  • Dr. Nicholas Cummins
    Title: Speech analysis for mental health: opportunities and challenges
  • Prof. Helen Minnis
    Title: Social Signal Processing in Attachment
  • Prof. Mohamed Chetouani
    Title: Putting the social interaction at the center of mental health analysis and modeling with AI-based approaches
  • Dr. Esther Papies
    Title: The role of habits in health behaviour: Challenges and opportunities for digital interventions
  • Dr Pietro Cipresso
    Title: Computational Psychometrics integrating artificial intelligence, virtual reality and mental health

Organised by Computing Technologies for HealthCare and Social AI CDT. For more information and registration details visit the official website.

Past events

Healthcare Focused Discussion: Probabilistic Modeling of Postoperative Bleeding Decisions (19 April, 2021)

Speaker: Diana Robinson

Diana Robinson is an incoming PhD candidate in computer science at Cambridge and Student Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. Diana specialises in human-computer interaction, philosophy and business. She was a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab in the Opera of the Future group. Prior to that, she worked as a Commodity Risk Analyst in BP's Integrated Supply and Trading business. She was a Princeton Project 55 Fellow in 2012/13. Diana holds an MBA from the Cambridge Judge Business School and a BA in philosophy from Princeton University.

Focused discussions are events that aim to provide feedback to researchers for work in progress and encourage discussion. Diana's research focus is on representing and modeling uncertainty in decisions around postoperative bleeding following cardiac surgery. Her aim is to see whether a tool that is built on probabilistic programming could be useful in incorporating clinical assumptions, modeling the uncertainty explicitly and reasoning through to likelihood estimates of the next best course of action. One of her interests is in how quantifying uncertainty might impact the social process of decision making, particularly the coordination and handovers between multidisciplinary teams. By developing this from an end user perspective, and co-designing with clinicians, the aim is for clinicians themselves to eventually be able to build and adapt their own models to inform their decisions. 


HealthCare Seminar - Precision modelling of brain disease through deep generative modelling (18 March, 2021)

Speaker: Dr. Emma Robinson

Dr Robinson's research focuses on the development of computational methods for brain imaging analysis,  and covers a wide range of image processing and machine learning topics. Most notably, her software for cortical surface registration (Multimodal Surface Matching, MSM) has been central to the development of  of the Human Connectome Project’s “Multi-modal parcellation of the Human Cortex “ (Glasser et al, Nature 2016), and has featured as a central tenet in the HCP’s paradigm for neuroimage analysis (Glasser et al, Nature NeuroScience 2016). This work has been widely reported in the media including Wired, Scientific American, and Wall Street Journal). Current research interests are focused on the application of advanced machine learning, and particularly Deep Learning to diverse data sets combining multi-modality imaging data with genetic samples. We are particualrly interested in building sensitive models of cognitive development and developmental outcome for prematurely born babies from data collected for the Developing Human Connectome Project (dHCP).

AI for medical imaging applications (04 March, 2021)

Speaker: Matt Muckley, PhD

Matt Muckley will discuss his recent work using artificial intelligence for medical imaging applications, such has work in the open fastMRI competition to accelerate reconstruction of MRI knee images and a representation learning approach to covid-19 prognosis prediction from chest x-rays.
This seminar will be held on Zoom and is open to colleagues at the University of Glasgow and/or the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Please register to attend at the following link:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The event is organised by Dr Sydney N. Williams, Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE), University of Glasgow

HealthCare Seminar: Trust me, I’m a doctor (25 February, 2021)

Speaker: Prof. John Cleland

Professor John Cleland, Cardiologist & Director of the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics & Clinical Trials

The basis of modern, evidence-based medicine is the randomised controlled trial. This reflects a growing mistrust in the use of observational data to make causal inferences about the effects of lifestyle, diet or medical interventions.

There are many forms of bias in observational data including ascertainment bias, selection bias, information bias, prescribing/intervention bias and confirmation bias. Confounding may or may not be due to one or more of the above.

Amongst these biases, the one that receives the least attention (ie:- usually ignored) in medicine is ascertainment bias, both in terms of ascertaining cases and outcomes. Many analyses depend on medical diagnosis and/or adjudication committees. Although medical opinions may be of value, they are often not based on verifiable facts; a policy of ‘mistrust and verify’ should be applied. Circumstantial evidence is often more compelling than diagnostic opinion.

The application of modern analytical approaches to large datasets is an exciting possibility fraught with hazard. Focussing on associations that create hypotheses and being cautious about any perceived causal relationship is required to avoid damaging academic and clinical reputations and harm to people, patients and populations.  

“To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer.” (attributed to William E. Vaughan, adapted from Agatha Christie, who wrote: ‘To err is human’ but a human error is nothing to what a computer can do if it tries.”)



Professor John Cleland is a leading international researcher in heart failure, focusing on improving diagnosis, management and monitoring, and has led large, international clinical trials to study treatments. Professor John Cleland receives substantial funding from the British Heart Foundation to support his research on heart failure. He is a Clarivate Analytics Global Highly Cited Researcher for 2018, one of ten Glasgow researchers recognised as being in the top 1% for citations in their academic field. He also conducted one of the earliest large trials of home telemonitoring for heart failure and continues to promote innovations in this field. His main research interest is heart failure, including its epidemiology and prevention, and development and implementation of guidelines. He has participated in a number of randomised trials to study interventions for heart failure, including the CARE-HF, PEP-CHF and HeartCycle studies. He has been involved in research on the role of myocardial hibernation contributing to heart failure and its treatment (including beta-blockers and revascularisation), diastolic heart failure in the elderly, ventricular resynchronisation, implantable haemodynamic monitoring devices, atrial fibrillation in heart failure and advanced electrophysiology.

Neuroergonomics to Assess and Improve Surgical Performance (11 February, 2021)

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Leff

Neuroergonomics to Assess and Improve Surgical Performance

In this talk, Dr. Daniel Leff will discuss his work within the Hamlyn Centre’s ‘Neuroergonomics and Perception Laboratory’ whose research remit is the evaluation of brain function in surgeons with a view to gaining insights into technical skills training, motor learning, decision-making and fatigue. Recently his focus has been in the detection of changes in brain function that can be used to differentiate high and low demand surgical tasks, facilitate workflow analysis, and which may indicate task induced burden. These factors if reliably detected may form the basis of intelligent feedback loops as means to realise brain computer interfacing to enhance safety. 



Dr. Daniel Leff is currently a Reader in Surgery working in the Departments of BioSurgery and Surgical Technology, the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery and the Cancer Research UK Centre at Imperial College London. He is an Honorary Consultant in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery working within the Breast Unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.  He received his PhD in Surgery from Imperial College London in 2009, working under the supervision of Professor Ara Darzi and Professor Guang-Zhong Yang. Daniel has published over 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals on subjects relating to the application of surgical technologies, assessment of cortical brain function and surgical oncology. His research has been shortlisted for numerous prizes including nominations for the Hounsfield Prize (Imperial College London), Patey Prize (SARS), young scientist award at MICCAI. He has attracted funding from Industry (Hitachi Medical Corp), the Academy of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Trust, and Cancer Research UK.