Our history

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) was founded in 2007 with the goal of providing an impartial, evidence-based picture of global health trends to inform the work of policymakers, researchers, and funders. Through our work, we identify the worlds major health problems, how well society is addressing these problems, and how leaders can best dedicate resources to maximize health improvement.

With initial funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the state of Washington, IHME began with a core team of three members. Today, more than 600 faculty and staff work at IHME. Our early work quickly gained traction in international journals and media outlets, introducing novel approaches to measuring disease burden and often prompting scientists to rethink established methods. Ranging from tracking effectiveness of vaccination programs to health financing to maternal mortality, our research tackled major topics in global health.

Over the years, IHME expanded its partnerships to include collaboration with multiple government organizations including the White House, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the World Health Organization, and many others. In 2017, IHME received a new investment of $279 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand our work over the next decade.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, IHME jumped into action, creating a tool for the University of Washington School of Medicine to determine if and when COVID-19 could overwhelm their hospital. Other hospital systems and state governments became interested in the projections as they braced for the pandemic, and our public COVID-19 Projections launched in March 2020. Through the end of 2022, we shared forecasts for COVID-19 cases, hospital resource use, and deaths, as well as scenarios describing the number of lives that could be saved by interventions such as vaccination and mask use. Leaders around the world used our findings throughout the pandemic.