The Expanding Role of Medical Informatics in Medicine
4 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2011 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014
Date Written: April 11, 2011
Background - Medical informatics forms the intersection of science, education, information and health care delivery systems. Today, it is a multidisciplinary field that collaborates with academic, clinical and research medicine. The emerging impact of medical informatics now constitutes a separate entity in modern medical institutions.
Discussion - The major components of medical informatics in clinical setting include information systems, patient records, imaging, telemedicine, bio informatics, artificial intelligent expert systems, clinical decision systems, neural networks and robotics. In academic research setting it includes development of department websites, data analysis tools, intelligent tutoring systems, presentation tools, e-learning, web based discussion boards and portals of information. The advantages of medical informatics in academic and clinical medicine are too many and undisputable. It enables integrated multidisciplinary patient management, inter and intra institutional health status evaluation in a global perspective, user friendly billing systems, human resource development, hospital administration, data utilization for medical queries, investigation tools ranging from tumor identification and classification to chromosomal anomaly detection, risk free simulations for clinical skills practice, presentation, evaluation and independent or distance learning resources, diagnostics for aiding clinicians etc.
Conclusion - Medical informatics has aided in an equitable distribution of health care and education across the physical barriers of person, time, place and distance. It has helped in dealing with logistic issues, skilled personnel and resource shortages. Tele dermatology, Tele medicine, Tele surgery and the Human genome project are some of the many enormous advances in this field. Medical informatics has stepped in a big way and it is here to stay. It is a ray of hope that will invariably and pleasantly change the course of 21st century medicine.
Keywords: medical informatics, health, technology
JEL Classification: 031
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