Dr John Ainsworth

Photograph of John Ainsworth

Senior Research Fellow

Vaughan House
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL


John Ainsworth is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester where he is also Deputy Director of the Centre for Health Informatics and the MRC Health eResearch Centre. He is involved in numerous research projects, but with one common aim - to use computing and information technology to improve the health of the population. His current research focuses on the mobile health technologies and the use of routinely captured healthcare data for research. 

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

UK Council for Health Informatics Professions (Reg. No. 10396)


My research focuses on applying information technology to improving health care and includes:

  • Harnessing computing technology to enable novel clincial research  
  • Using information technology to improve health services
  • Applying emerging computing technologis to create novel interventions
  • The development of software as a diagnsotic and/or therapeutic medical device.

I work at the iinersection of information technology and healthcare

Methodological Knowledge

Software Development

Systems Engineering


John has been the CTO of the North West eHealth (NWeH) technology spinout and is one of the originators of the FARSITE (www.nweh.org.uk) tool. He has lead the development of openCDMS (www.opencdms.org), an open source study/trial data collection system, to the point where it is in wide spread production use both in the UK and internationally for more than 8 years. In collaboration with Professor Shôn Lewis he has developed the ClinTouch system (www.clintouch.com). Prior to academia he worked in the telecommunications/data networking industry for 10 years, fulfilling a variety of roles including software engineer, software architect, project manager, and consulting engineer. John's previous employers are PA Consulting, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and Bell Northern Research. He remains firmly committed to improving the quality of medical research and in turn the health of the population, through free software.


  • BSc (Hons) Physics
  • MSc Cognitive Science
  • PhD Health Informatics



  • Spencer, K., Ainsworth, J., Mcbeth, J., Little, M. A., Schultz, D., Sanders, C., & Dixon, W. (2015). Using smartphones to examine the association between weather and joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a feasibility study. Abstract from http://www.farrinstitute.org/events-courses/event/the-farr-institute-international-conference-2015, .. Publication link: 02c6d032-03c2-408f-b9d4-2b1a89d98398
  • Bucci, S., Barrowclough, C., Ainsworth, J., Morris, R., Berry, K., Machin, M., ... Haddock, G. (2015). Using mobile technology to deliver a cognitive behaviour therapy-informed intervention in early psychosis (Actissist): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 16(1), [404]. DOI:10.1186/s13063-015-0943-3. Publication link: c1e34678-a3c2-4e9c-bc6c-6260568df307 | PubMed:26357943
  • Ainsworth, J. (2015). Re-engineering healthcare systems to use evidence from practice University of Manchester. Publication link: 6d790e3f-0434-4114-98b1-10ba40f68eac


  • Palmier-Claus, J. E., Taylor, P. J., Ainsworth, J., Machin, M., Dunn, G., & Lewis, S. W. (2014). The temporal association between self-injurious thoughts and psychotic symptoms: a mobile phone assessment study.Suicide & life-threatening behavior, 44(1), 101-110. DOI:10.1111/sltb.12064. Publication link: 006866b1-54a3-4607-b58e-1560fcc80394 | PubMed:24261643


  • Ainsworth, J., Palmier-Claus, J. E., Machin, M., Barrowclough, C., Dunn, G., Rogers, A., ... Lewis, S. W. (2013). A comparison of two delivery modalities of a mobile phone based assessment for severe mental illness: Native smartphone application vs. SMS text only implementations.JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH. DOI:doi:10.2196/jmir.2328. Publication link: acb13241-0719-4df7-8beb-dee5cf0b46df
  • Balatsoukas, P., Ainsworth, J., Williams, R., Carruthers, E., Davies, C., Mcgrath, J., ... Buchan, I. (2013). Verbal protocols for assessing the usability of clinical decision support: The retrospective sense making protocol. Studies in health technology and informatics, 192(1-2), 283-287. DOI:10.3233/978-1-61499-289-9-283. Publication link: ad2a248f-0c35-4c32-a547-352e58f9ef7b | PubMed:23920561
  • Bechhofer, S., Buchan, I., De Roure, D., Missier, P., Ainsworth, J., Bhagat, J., ... Goble, C. (2013). Why linked data is not enough for scientists. Future Generation Computer Systems, 29(2), 599-611. DOI:10.1016/j.future.2011.08.004. Publication link: 479e591e-b295-4478-b0c7-a145c19dcd45
  • Brown, B., Williams, R., Ainsworth, J., Buchan, I., & Taylor, S. (2013). Missed opportunities mapping: Computable healthcare quality improvement. Studies in health technology and informatics, 192(1-2), 387-391. DOI:10.3233/978-1-61499-289-9-387. Publication link: 791732a3-6d59-4e51-b799-bb0881c1b604 | PubMed:23920582
  • Couch, P., O'Flaherty, M., Sperrin, M., Green, B., Balatsoukas, P., Lloyd, S., ... Buchan, I. (2013). E-Labs and the stock of health method for simulating health policies. Studies in health technology and informatics, 192(1-2), 288-292. DOI:10.3233/978-1-61499-289-9-288. Publication link: a9c9c1d3-83e1-4f15-8778-a374aebffb85 | PubMed:23920562
  • Palmier-Claus, J. E., Ainsworth, J., Machin, M., Dunn, G., Barkus, E., Barrowclough, C., ... Lewis, S. W. (2013). Affective Instability Prior to and after Thoughts about Self-Injury in Individuals With and At-Risk of Psychosis: A Mobile Phone Based Study. Archives of Suicide Research, 17(3), 275-287. DOI:10.1080/13811118.2013.805647. Publication link: 7d27c1b4-1c69-44a2-b36e-0b12c878dbc7 | PubMed:23889576
  • Palmier-Claus, J. E., Rogers, A., Ainsworth, J., Machin, M., Barrowclough, C., Laverty, L., ... Lewis, S. W. (2013). Integrating mobile-phone based assessment for psychosis into people's everyday lives and clinical care: A qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry, 13, [34]. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-13-34. Publication link: 35704376-c30e-437e-b811-d249700a5c34 | PubMed:23343329


  • Ainsworth, J., & Buchan, I. (2012). COCPIT: a tool for integrated care pathway variance analysis. Studies in health technology and informatics, 180, 995-999. DOI:10.3233/978-1-61499-101-4-995. Publication link: a51c012f-1c68-48e3-9dc0-9dd73c52dbbe
  • Ainsworth, J., Cunningham, J., & Buchan, I. (2012). ELab: Bringing together people, data and methods to enhance knowledge discovery in healthcare settings. Studies in health technology and informatics, 175, 39-48. DOI:10.3233/978-1-61499-054-3-39. Publication link: 394c92e6-8a80-420b-af3f-7f103f348a08
  • Kelly, J., Gooding, P., Pratt, D., Ainsworth, J., Welford, M., & Tarrier, N. (2012). Intelligent real-time therapy: Harnessing the power of machine learning to optimise the delivery of momentary cognitivebehavioural interventions. Journal of Mental Health, 21(4), 404-414. DOI:10.3109/09638237.2011.638001. Publication link: d2095d94-70a7-49d6-9015-9946f8c90feb
  • Kennedy, C. M., Powell, J., Payne, T. H., Ainsworth, J., Boyd, A., & Buchan, I. (2012). Active assistance technology for health-related behavior change: An interdisciplinary review. Journal of medical Internet research, 14(3), E80. DOI:10.2196/jmir.1893. Publication link: c2b662b8-59b3-4ea5-9268-ac7cbcebe7b3
  • Palmier-Claus, J. E., Ainsworth, J., Machin, M., Barrowclough, C., Dunn, G., Barkus, E., ... Lewis, S. W. (2012). The feasibility and validity of ambulatory self-report of psychotic symptoms using a smartphone software application. BMC Psychiatry, 12(1), 172. [172]. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-12-172. Publication link: 17c69f66-d0c3-44eb-8f3e-d4049146f554 | PubMed:23075387
  • Balatsoukas, P., Williams, R., Carruthers, E., Ainsworth, J., & Buchan, I. (2012). The use of metadata objects in the analysis and representation of clinical knowledge. In Communications in Computer and Information Science|Commun. Comput. Info. Sci.. (Vol. 343, pp. 107-112). (Communications in Computer and Information Science). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-35233-1_11. Publication link: 411c49fc-7abf-4487-b7d1-f4cc83ea7a69



  • Buchan, I., Ainsworth, J., Carruthers, E., Couch, P., O'Flaherty, M., Smith, D., ... Capewell, S. (2010). IMPACT: A generalisable system for simulating public health interventions. Studies in health technology and informatics, 160(1), 486-490. DOI:10.3233/978-1-60750-588-4-486. Publication link: 9a2d8fd9-8147-40b7-94a4-59c257882a14
  • Thew, S., Jarvis, P., Ainsworth, J., & Buchan, I. (2010). Obesity Atlas and Methodbox: Towards an open framework for sharing public health intelligence workflows. Studies in health technology and informatics, 160(1), 496-500. DOI:10.3233/978-1-60750-588-4-496. Publication link: 93ae2f39-508c-4307-9d74-0770988ecad4 | PubMed:20841736
  • Bechhofer, S., Ainsworth, J., Bhagat, J., Buchan, I., Couch, P., Cruickshank, D., ... Sufi, S. (2010). Why linked data is not enough for scientists. In Proceedings - 2010 6th IEEE International Conference on e-Science, eScience 2010|Proc. - IEEE Int. Conf. e-Sci., eScience. (pp. 300-307). IEEE Computer Society. DOI:10.1109/eScience.2010.21. Publication link: 394d2487-5598-4e1e-a0c1-d67ad65d7947



  • Ainsworth, J., & Harper, R. (2007). The PsyGrid Experience. International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics, 2(2), 1-20. DOI:10.4018/jhisi.2007040101. Publication link: abf54403-b404-4771-a0d1-6559b8edd0bf
  • Ure, J., Procter, R., Martone, M., Porteous, D., Lloyd, S., Lawrie, S., ... Wardlaw, J. (2007). Data integration in eHealth: A domain/disease specific roadmap. Studies in health technology and informatics, 126, 144-153. . Publication link: 5985b537-08f3-4857-a679-94f51f3f4710 | PubMed:17476057
  • Ainsworth, J., Baker, P., New, J., Gibson, M., Pioli, D., & Buchan, I. (2007). Public Health e-Labs: A federated model for e-Epidemiology. Poster session presented at Public Health Informatics 2007, Seattle, .. Publication link: 38d22d0c-1036-40a6-a6de-344d67df32cc


  • Ainsworth, J., Harper, R., Juma, I., & Buchan, I. (2006). Design and implementation of security in a data collection system for epidemiology. Studies in health technology and informatics, 120, 348-357. . Publication link: eca478ab-a0cf-407c-8a55-1dff9a937d1a | PubMed:16823152
  • Ainsworth, J., Harper, R., Juma, I., & Buchan, I. (2006). PsyGrid: Applying e-Science to Epidemiology. In Proceedings - IEEE Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems|Proc. IEEE Symp. Comput.-Based Med. Syst.. (Vol. 2006, pp. 727-732). IEEE. DOI:10.1109/CBMS.2006.135. Publication link: ed24f7ed-3b9e-4385-bb0c-452f21d68bf4

Research projects