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Health Informatics (previously known as Medical Informatics) is the discipline that is now plays an important role in all aspects of healthcare delivery, and public/personal health promotion.1 There are currently various definitions for medical informatics but it is essentially the use and sharing of information within the healthcare sector with the help of computer science, mathematics and psychology. 2 A more comprehensive definition can be found in the Handbook of Medical Informatics.


Health Informatics enhances the development and assessment of tools used representing Medical Data, aiding Medical Decision Making, defining Medical Language and Classification Systems, as well as Computer Aided Learning and Healthcare IT Strategy.

There are several organisations that are involved in the promotion of medical informatics. Internationally the most recognizable would be the International Medical Informatics Association, while within the United States, the prominent organisation is the American Medical Informatics Association. Within the United Kingdom, the British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee and the UK Health Informatics Society are the foremost organisations involved with health informatics.

These organisations are non-profit and help in educating the government and the public about the benefits of Health Informatics as a essential tool in the delivery of healthcare, promoting research and education through thier various work groups and help to set standards and policies that are would be adopted within the medical informatics society. They are good places for networking and sharing of ideas, so for anyone involved in or interested in Health Informatics, joining such organisations might be a good idea.

Health Informatics is made up of several subsets and biohealthmatics.com would be looking at the following:



  1. J.H. van Bemmel. [WWW] Handbook of medical informatics. http://www.mihandbook.stanford.edu/handbook/home.htm (20TH March 2003)

  2. Epshteyn, Ella.; Dyer, Kirsti A. [WWW] March 3RD 2001. Definitions: Ethics & Medical Informatics. http://www.journeyofhearts.org/jofh/jofh_old/minf_528/definitions.htm 20TH March 2003


Useful Links

  • Handbook of Medical Informatics
    Website version of one of the most popular books on medical informatics. Hosted on the University of Standard website.

  • Guide to Health Informatics
    Offers a prelude to the book with same title by Enrico Coiera.

  • History of medical informatics,
    A definitive look at the history of medical informatics from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).

  • What is health informatics?
    Definition of health informatics from the UK Health Informatics Society (UKHIS).

  • What is Medical Informatics, and why is it an important specialty?
    Views from Scot Silverstein, MD, a professional in the field.

  • NHS INformatics
    An online community for health informatics professionals from Europe's largest healthcare organisation - The National Health Service (NHS).

  • Health Informatics World Wide
    A comprehensive list of health informatics sites on the Web. Edited by Dr Stefan Schulz and Prof Dr Rudiger Klar, both of Freiburg University, Germany.

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