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PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATICS
Public Health Informatics was defined by in a paper published
in 2000 by Yasnoff as “the systematic application of information and computer
science and technology to public health practice, research and learning.”
He also defined four principles on which public health
informatics should be followed as a discipline. They are
- Public Health Informatics should focus on the information
science and technology applications that promote the health of populations.
- Public Health Informatics should also focus on the information
science and technology applications that prevent disease and injury by altering
the conditions or environment that put populations at risk.
- Public Health Informatics applications should explore the
potential vulnerable points in the causal chains leading to disease, injury or
disability and not to restricted to particular social, behavioural or
- Public Health Informatics should reflect the governmental
context in which public health is practised.
Modern public health practice has required the development and
use of information technology to link together a variety of surveillance
activities, development and use of standards that support public surveillance
and the use of the Internet for the dissemination and generation of
Public Health Informatics is helping to improve the practice
of public health through its some of following components:
Consumer Informatics: A new branch of
health informatics that provides the general public, in their role as
healthcare consumers, with computer-based health information to aid them in the
management of their health.
Epidemiologic / Disease Surveillance and Tracking Systems:
Computer systems that collect, analyse and disseminate information that is used
in the prevention of diseases.
Yasnoff, William A.; et al. Public Health Informatics:
Improving and Transforming Public Health in the Information Age. Journal of
Public Health Management and Practice, 2000: 67 - 75.