Dr Andrew Creagh awarded the IET Healthcare Technologies Award

Andrew Creagh stood by grey background, arms folded.

St Cross Junior Research Fellow Dr Andrew Creagh has been awarded a prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Healthcare Technologies Award for early-career researchers. Dr Creagh was credited for his work developing smartphone-based technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) strategies for patient monitoring in healthcare settings.

The annual IET Healthcare Technologies Awards encourage and support the work and research of academics and newly-qualified professionals in healthcare, medical and biomedical engineering arenas. The award is presented to an early-career researcher whose PhD work “has demonstrated the most potential to contribute towards the development and improvement of the Biomedical Engineering field”.

The IET William James Award was presented for Dr Creagh’s research, where he helped develop a simple smartphone-based, at-home examination tool, named “Draw-a-Shape”, which was the first published step in validating digital biomarkers for Multiple Sclerosis, from the landmark FLOODLIGHT proof-of-concept study.

Discussing the concept of his research, Andrew explains:

Our research is trying to harness the power of digital consumer technologies, like the smartphone nearly all of us have in our pocket. These devices contain loads of different sensors, which we can use to monitor a patient’s daily life and health from their own home. Transforming these digital measurements, through machine learning, allows us to create digital markers of disease and disease progression.

Five Samsung phones showing how to draw shapes.

Simple smartphone-based assessments, such as a touch screen drawing test, can be used to measure disease symptoms when patients are not in the clinic


I’m delighted and honoured, to be named as the recipient of this year’s IET William James Award. There is some incredibly exciting research that is being conducted across the UK in healthcare, and we are at the forefront of this innovation here at Oxford. I would also like to express my gratitude to Prof. David Clifton, Prof. Maarten De Vos, F-Hoffmann La Roche, GSK, as well as all our collaborators and those who have mentored me along the way.


Dr Creagh is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Computational Health Informatics (CHI) lab, led by Professor David A. Clifton, at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME). The CHI lab specialises in the interface between machine learning--or artificial intelligence (AI), and medicine, where they are poised to help tackle some of healthcare’s biggest problems of the CHI lab, Andrew says.

We use the latest in machine- and deep-learning techniques to improve our understanding of diseases, to develop better therapeutic strategies, and enhance patient care in the UK and the developing world. Through our amazing collaborators, in the NHS, in academia, in industry, and in hospitals around the world, our lab is able to become a small cog within the ground-breaking medical research being undertaken here at Oxford.

Dr Creagh is also concurrently a GSK Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Biomarkers and a visiting Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wearables Laboratory at the Big Data Institute (BDI), University of Oxford.


As part of the IET William James award, Dr Creagh will give a guest lecture at the IET Annual Healthcare Lecture on Wednesday 8 December from 10:00-11:30 GMT. You can register for the lecture here


Images: Dr Andrew Creagh