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Defining Biomedical Informatics Field

Workshop MIE2012

Miguel Angel Mayer

on 31 August 2016

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Transcript of Defining Biomedical Informatics Field

Why defining
Biomedical Informatics field
is so important

Miguel Angel Mayer MD PhD
Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB)
IMIM-Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Director of Web Médica Acreditada, Medical Association of Barcelona
INBIOMEDvision initiative (www.inbiomedvision.eu)
BMI: Interdisciplinary field that studies and pursues the effective uses of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem solving, and decision making, motivated by efforts to improve human health
Computer Science
Medical Information Science
Medical Informatics
medical Informatics
Computational Biology / Bioinformatics
& Health
eHealth Task Force Report
Redesigning health in Europe
Health care: less intrusive and
more Personalised and Participatory health
Depends on the application of ICT and the use of
According to experts there will be a 4,300% increase in annual data generation by 2020
Biomedical Informatics
is about information (capture, use and storage) rather than equipment
Translational medicine:
the conversion of scientific discovery into
health improvement
Whether biomedical informatics is another discipline is not yet clear (Schumie MJ et al. 2009)
Genetics and proteomics
are still not embedded in the medical field
MI focused on hospital information and
patient management both are far from BI topics
BI and MI overlap in using the same
computer science and mathematical
methods and techniques
(Bansard et al. 2007)
“Many academicians are abandoning work in clinical informatics in favor of work in bioinformatics, which at the moment seems to have considerably more prestige” (Mussen & Bemmel)
“The clinical and basic scientists don’t really communicate” (Barbara Alving)
What is Biomedical Informatics?
Scope and breadth of discipline
Theory and methodology
Technological approach
Human and social context
Professional discipline
Well-defined set of competencies
Certification of fitness to practice
Shared professional identity
Life-long commitment
Code of ethics
And some questions...

Biomedical informatics should be defined as a discipline itself?
At which level we should introduce biomedical informatics education subjects, at pre-graduate or graduate levels, both?
Who might be a biomedical informatician?
Do you think the barriers I mentioned still exist, and will we be able to overcome them?
Patient harm caused at least in part
by the application of health information
Two big ideas

the borders and barriers among several disciplines related to biomedicine and informatics should be removed and,

for many professionals the typical sub-specialization of tasks and knowledge will be replaced by an integrative view of several and related disciplines
Mantas J. et al. (IMIA Recommendations on Education Task Force). Methods Inf Med 2010.
& Martin-Sanchez F. EJBI 2011
Sanz F, Mayer MA. INBIOMEDvision 2012
Mantas J et al, 2010
Kulikowsky CA, JAMIA 2012
A definition can help the field address
practical issues
Educational program design:
provide a clear vision of the field to students and guide CV development
Administrative decisions:
make a clear
and consistent case for resources to administrators
internal and external to understand the role and contributions of BMI
Research agenda:
provide a basis for
identifying fundamental research questions
Sarkar N. J Transl Med 2008
Concepts and terminologies defined by MeSH thesaurus in MEDLINE/PUBMED:

Medical Informatics:
concept definition
terms included under the tree-term

concept definition
terms included under the tree-term

Biomedical Informatics is not a MeSH term, not synonyms
Biomedical Informatics: definition of the field
Introduced in 1987
Entry Terms (synonyms):
Informatics, Medical
Information Science, Medical
Medical Information Sciences
Medical Information Science
Health Information Technology
Health Information Technologies
Information Technologies, Health
Information Technology, Health
Technologies, Health Information
Technology, Health Information
Medical Computer Science
Medical Computer Sciences
Science, Medical Computer
Computer Science, Medical
Clinical Informatics
Informatics, Clinical
Medical Informatics (MI)
Introduced in 1997
Entry Terms:
Biology, Computational
Computational Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology, Computational
Computational Biology =Bioinformatics (BI)
MIE2012.it Pisa, Italy
Weiner 2007, Bernstam EV et al. 2010
(Bernstam EV. J Biomed Inform 2010)
Kulikowsky CA, Shortliffe EH. JAMIA 2012
EH. Shortliffe (2006): “the scientific field that deals with biomedical information, data, and knowledge- their storage, retrieval, and optimal use for problem solving and decision-making”.
N. Sarkar (2010): is an over-arching discipline
that includes sub-disciplines such as bioinformatics, imaging informatics, clinical informatics, and public health informatics.
AMIA Board white paper
Translational Bioinformatics: Linking the Molecular World to the Clinical World (RB. Altman. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2012)
Full transcript