Medical Informatics is a story of phenomenal growth

Key Takeaway:

Medical informatics is an area that is growing at a fervid pace. Its growth is not likely to get hindered or slow down in the near future, due to the surge in its use in the healthcare and IT industries.

Medical Informatics is a relatively recent development in the field of healthcare. It is interwoven into the development and application of IT-based innovations in the healthcare industry.

Medical informatics is often synonymously and loosely used with other related words such as clinical informatics, nursing informatics, healthcare informatics and so on. Its associations with related or similar disciplines notwithstanding, one can draw a fairly clear idea of medical informatics. It can be described as the application, adoption, design and development of IT into activities relating to the healthcare industry.

What is the objective of medical informatics?

Medical informatics seeks to enhance knowledge and innovate in the healthcare field by using IT and its applications. Towards this end, it uses and merges the principles, knowledge, data, application, and the tools needed for applying these in the process of decision-making.

Who are involved in the use of medical informatics?

Medical informatics is used by almost everyone in the healthcare industry. These include physicians, nurses, billers, coders, many others who provide healthcare, and medical librarians. In addition, there are specialists who are tasked purely with working with medical informatics, such as

  • Data analysts
  • Hospital record managers, and
  • Programmers and analysts in the industry.

The rise and rise of medical informatics

The birth and growth of medical informatics has been tied to those of the IT industry, the Internet in particular. In a sense, they are twins, having started and grown in almost a conjoined fashion. Its early development started in the 1960s, very nearly contemporaneous with that of the Net. While the medium that brought it into existence and spawned its growth -namely IT grew, so did medical informatics.

The evolution and explosive adoption of a number of products due to technological innovations in the 1970s gave medical informatics an unprecedented impetus. In this sense, the electronic health records (EHRs) could be termed a milestone in the development of medical informatics. Today, EHR and medical informatics are unthinkable without each other.

With the mediums that adapted EHRs, namely personal devices, mobile phones and other accessories growing, the growth curve of medical informatics continued unabated.

Today, landmark Congressional legislations such as HIPAA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have been promulgated purely on account of the use and prevalence of medical informatics.

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