Biomedical informatics is a multi-disciplinary field, involving the collection, management, analysis and integration of data in biomedicine used for research and healthcare delivery.
According to Joel H. Saltz, MD, PhD, director of Emory’s Center for Comprehensive Informatics, biomedical informatics enhances medical research via technology by making it possible to collect, weed through and analyze widespread data on patient treatments and outcomes.
Saltz is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and serves as chief medical information officer at Emory Healthcare and as a professor in the departments of pathology, biostatistics and bioinformatics, and mathematics and computer science at Emory.
A recent essay excerpted below, published by Knowledge@Emory, says advances in information technology are becoming increasingly critical to disease treatment and administrative efficiency at healthcare facilities.
Given the national debate over costs in the healthcare system, medical practitioners and IT experts say that the evolving field of biomedical informatics can provide large scale improvements in treatment processes, and ultimately, in the price tag for care.
Saltz notes in the article that biomedical informatics can be applied to any subset of medical research, giving clinicians access to â€œrichâ€ or large pools of patient data and applying technological solutions and mathematical modeling to the process.
He says that the overarching goal of the Center is to foster collaboration between scientific and software systems researchers. However, the synthesis of medical information from disparate and numerous sources remains a key research effort at the Center and for other institutions and companies in the biomedical informatics field
The Center was selected recently as an In Silico Brain Tumor Research Center and will use advanced informatics tools and databases to discover more effective brain tumor treatments. Read here for more information about projects at the Center.