IGHI celebrates 12 years of innovation in healthcare


At a blue lectern, with screens either side saying "Celebrating 12 years of innovation in healthcare", Prof Darzi speaks to an audience.

The Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) celebrates its 12 year anniversary.

The IGHI, one of Imperial’s Global Challenge Institutes, has been solving healthcare problems for 12 years.

At the IGHI, clinicians, scientists, designers, engineers, policy makers, developers, patient and public involvement specialists and more fuse together to address needs in healthcare – from Digital Education, to community testing for COVID-19, to investigating AI for screening. This breadth of skills and areas of work supports the IGHI in its mission to transform health for all through evidence-based innovation, and is summarised in a report, “Celebrating 12 years of innovation in healthcare”.

Attendees read IGHI's anniversary brochure
Attendees at IGHI's anniversary event

The IGHI hosted an event to celebrate this milestone – originally planned to mark a decade but delayed two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic – at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London.

IGHI Co-Director­­s, Prof Lord Ara Darzi and Professor David Nabarro (pictured left), and Professor Mary Ryan, Vice Provost (Research and Enterprise), spoke about how IGHI brings together talented people to make an impact, and attendees were treated to a film highlighting IGHI’s work since 2010.

Professor Lord Ara Darzi, Co-Director, Institute of Global Health Innovation, said: “IGHI has always sought to identify opportunities before they become obvious to others. That is why we were the first research organisation to focus on patient safety. The first to focus on the fusion of engineering and surgery. The first to realise the potential of design in healthcare, and the first to introduce qualifications for policy makers.” 

Celebrating IGHI's 12 year anniversary

 The IGHI works around the globe, in collaboration with a range of partners and on varied topics:

  • Researchers from IGHI’s Helix Centre have collaborated with clinical organisations to redesign how conversations about life-sustaining treatments are conducted.
  • The Hamlyn Centre's researchers developed a surgical robotic tool called MicroIGEs that enables very precise removal of cancers with minimal damage to the rest of the body.
  • The Centre for Health Policy developed Essentials of Cybersecurity in Healthcare Organizations (ECHO) framework which outlines key areas for organisations to consider as they scale up and maintain robust cybersecurity.
  • Researchers from the NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre have identified important patterns in avoidable harm, and the socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities in NHS hospital admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Centre of African Research and Engagement’s TRACT trial has shown how children’s lives could be saved by optimal use of blood transfusion to treat severe anaemia

From clinical decision making, translating research into better health for patients, driving forward innovation to influencing policy and educating prospective healthcare leaders, the IGHI is responding to the healthcare challenges of the present and future.

Prof Mary Ryan speaks at lectern
Professor Mary Ryan

Professor Mary Ryan, Vice Provost (Research and Enterprise), said: “To enable people to have new ideas that will deliver benefit to people’s lives, IGHI brings together perspectives from across the College. The IGHI helps us to tackle global challenges and make a real difference across healthcare.”

Leading the way

What does the next twelve years hold for the IGHI? Our remit has always been to break traditional research silos to tackle some of the greatest global health challenges facing the world today. In the next 12 years, IGHI will continue to push boundaries in healthcare robotics, patient safety and healthcare design.

Professor David Nabarro, Co-Director, Institute of Global Health Innovation, said: “We are confident IGHI will continue to be at the forefront of healthcare innovation. Leading the way, with work on antimicrobial resistance, climate change and mental health and food security. We will focus more and more on these challenges for people and planet, to be conscious change agents in the next decade.”

IGHI by numbers 

  • 1,832 academic papers published, 2010-22
  • 568 Postgraduate Students (including PhDs) at IGHI in Academic year 2022-23
  • 46 World innovation Summit for Healthcare (WISH) or WISH-related reports that IGHI was involved in, 2012-22
  • 3,418,788 participants in the REACT study

The report, ‘Celebrating 12 years of innovation in healthcare’, was published by IGHI on 9 December 2022  

  • Three women stand and talk to each other
  • People chat by banners highlighting the Hamlyn Centre's work
  • People chat next to exhibit
  • Group of people at the even

With thanks to Owen Billcliffe @OwenBPhoto for photography, and Nic Flatt, Fat Panda Ltd, for producing the film.


Victoria Murphy

Victoria Murphy
Institute of Global Health Innovation