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Focus Theme: „Single Subject Research Design and Data Processing“
Deadline: Nov 20, 2016 extended
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Confluence of Disciplines in Health Informatics: an International Perspective

Journal: Methods of Information in Medicine
Subtitle: A journal stressing, for more than 50 years, the methodology and scientific fundamentals of organizing, representing and analyzing data, information and knowledge in biomedicine and health care
ISSN: 0026-1270
Issue: 2011 (Vol. 50): Issue 6 2011
Pages: 545-555

Confluence of Disciplines in Health Informatics: an International Perspective

A. Geissbuhler (1), M. Kimura (2), C. A. Kulikowski (3), P. J. Murray (4), L. Ohno-Machado (5), H.-A. Park (6), R. Haux (7)

(1) Geneva University, Geneva, Switzerland; (2) Hamamatsu University, School of Medicine, Department of Medical Informatics, Hamamatsu, Japan; (3) Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA; (4) International Medical Informatics Association; (5) University of California, San Diego, CA, USA; (6) Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea; (7) University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Braunschweig, Germany


Medical Informatics, Health Informatics, biomedical informatics, international perspectives, global health informatics


Objective: To discuss international aspects as they relate to the convergence of disciplines in health informatics. Method: A group of international experts was invited at a symposium to present and discuss their perspectives on this topic. These have been collated in a single manuscript. Results and Conclusions: Significant challenges, as well as opportunities, appear when cumulating the intrinsic multidisciplinary nature of health informatics interventions with the diversity of contexts at the global level, in particular when considered in the perspective of a confluence, i.e., the mixing of different waters and their merging into a new, stronger entity. Health informatics experts reflect on key issues such as collaborative software development and distributed knowledge sourcing, social media and mobile technologies, the evolutions of the discipline from an historical perspective, as well as examples of challenges for implementing ubiquitous healthcare or for supporting disaster situations when infrastructures get disrupted.

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