Health Informatics Discussion Forum

Hi everyone!So I have gone through more than 50 websites about schools, research options and stuff. I have also been getting lots of info from all you lovely people about why I should pursue Health Informatics and where to do it.Now the problem is I don't know what the difference is between Health Informatics, Health Information Management, Medical Informatics, Biomedical Informatics ????Could someone kindly clarify this for me, because I totally confused.ThanksCynthia

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  • Cynthia - the answer to your question about definitions is quite complex. In UK we use 'Health Informatics' as the umbrella term with a definition determined to meet international requirements as below (there si a short version too if reqd) . Medical Informatics, like Nursing Informatics are specialist communities within the wider domain. However the onerarching term in Germany for example is Medical Informatics, so you have to know where the person trained / works in order to check whether they are talking a specific sub-domain or the full spectrum community.

    Definition :
    DOMAIN : Health informatics is concerned with the systematic processing of data, information and knowledge in medicine and healthcare. The domain covers computational and informational aspects of processes and structures, applicable to any clinical or managerial discipline within the health sector whether on a tele (remote) basis or not. Health informatics is delivered by operational health practitioners, academic researchers and educators, scientists and technologists in operational, commercial and academic domains reference (medinfo2001, IMIA)
    • Hi Jean,

      Thanks for the response. My next question would be; For some one who is new to this field, which one would you recommend? I am currently living in Botswana, Southern Africa. I have been looking around for an affordable Masters program which I could apply to. Currently the ones That I have seen available here is Sub Saharan Africa are is one called Masters in Medical Informatics offered at University of Kwazulu Natal South Africa, and another Masters in Health Informatics offered at University of Dar es Salam, Tanzania in collaboration with the University of Oslo. What should I be looking for in terms of course content when I evaluate Masters Programs?

      Thanks and Regards
      Cynthia
  • u can be both of those
  • Hello, Cynthia -

    as Jean Roberts says, it depends on who you talk to, and there continue to be discussions as to which is the 'top level' term. In reality, I think many people use the two terms interchangeably.

    In relation to your specific question on courses - different courses have different focuses, so you need to look at the overall course content and focus and see whether they fit with your areas of interest and where you see yourself working in the future. Some have a more technical focus, some have a more organisational and managerial focus, some have a more clinical focus.

    I should also add that there are developments ongoing at Waler Sisulu University in Eastern Cape, South Africa; I have been involved teaching an MSc Health Informatics there, and they are looking to develop something to be taught locally, but I don't at present know the timeline for when it will be ready.

    Regards, Peter
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