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Health Informatics; an Emerging Technology

Anjana Nepal

November 04, 2022
Last updated November 10, 2022
Health Informatics; an Emerging Technology

As computer science and information technology advanced, the majority of clinical data began to be stored and retrieved via computer systems, and computer networks created the first early hospital information systems. Within a short period of time, these information systems began to perform a variety of tasks in hospitals. However, one of hospitals' biggest challenges was primarily concerned with the management of the massive amounts of data that are stored and retrieved during the delivery of clinical care. The focus of these efforts was on how to create user-friendly systems that would facilitate the entry, retrieval, and presentation of healthcare data as well as how this data could be turned into information that would be useful to healthcare practitioners on a clinical level.

The area of health informatics was born out of the sheer necessity for information technology in healthcare and its integration within it. Information technology has advanced to the point where it may now affect nearly every facet of the healthcare system, including efficiency. The field of health informatics is currently developing and is now regarded as a well-defined scientific field with an interdisciplinary nature.

What is Health Informatics?

Health Informatics involves acquiring, studying, and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction with health information technology systems to optimize the quality of healthcare outcomes provided by clinicians. Health information systems provide evidence-based services by analyzing the retrieved health data. Improved healthcare delivery can be achieved using the Health Informatics System. Health Information Systems ensure the efficient collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of health data. Parties associated with the healthcare industry, hospitals, companies, and others make up the chain of facilities that team up to deliver healthcare to patients. A health informatics personnel studies the efficiency and communication between these facilities. On the other hand, those involved in health planning and decision-making also need information on various topics, viz., health determinants, inputs to the health system and related processes, health system performance or outputs, health disparities, and many more. 

Area of Studies

Studying health informatics teaches you to record data safely in software for later use. You are knowledgeable in the behavioral sciences, information technology, computer science, and health sciences. Data science, computer programming, health care databases, data mining, data analytics, project management, and process improvement are also included in health informatics.

The healthcare system, medicine, information technology, computer science, information and data science, and business are all combined in health informatics. An overview of various types of health information systems, information services, and infrastructure broadens your understanding of the state of Information communication technology use in the healthcare industry.

Who can study Health Informatics?

You must have a Bachelor's degree in engineering, science, technology, computer application, or medical sciences and nursing to pursue a degree in health informatics. Students interested in designing, developing, and analyzing health information systems can enroll in the program from various academic specialties. Medical doctors, public health workers, nurses, medical lab technicians, pharmacists, IT professionals, mathematicians, statisticians, and enthusiasts from the fundamental science disciplines are just a few of the medical and paramedical professionals interested in health data analytics and innovation in the healthcare industry.

Scope of Health Informatics

Graduates will have the necessary knowledge and abilities to develop a Health Information System, analyze the data, create policies, and implement health intervention programs. The program's scope includes creating mobile applications, telemedicine services, and a health data warehouse. Integrate health science knowledge, principles, practices, and activities with information system management knowledge, principles, techniques, and exercises. Data is stored electronically in patient records with health information systems. It aids in resolving some privacy-related legal and moral issues.

Career Prospects

The Health Ministry and other public organizations working in the health sectors offer graduates of health informatics a variety of employment opportunities, including those as information officers, data analysts, strategy planners, and policymakers. Graduates can also work for international organizations involved in the health sectors as Monitoring and Evaluation Officers. Another career path open to graduates of the Health Informatics program is research work in academic institutions and healthcare organizations. Additionally, hospitals and healthcare facilities employ data analysts, system architects, and application developers.

Future of Health Informatics

For providers to monitor patients and improve communication with them, there may be a surge in the use of information technology devices today and the future. Wearable medical technology will be a significant part of the future trend in health informatics, providing high-value data to track patients at risk and with medical conditions. These appliances enable medical professionals to see patterns in patient health and can be connected to any system. Health Informatics can use Bluetooth connectivity and wearable technology, including monitors for different parameters like blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose levels. The popularity of wearables that track vital signs and sleep quality is also expected to rise. Wearable technology is essential for monitoring health metrics in the future of health informatics.