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DAT254 Health Informatics

Course description for academic year 2018/2019

Contents and structure

Health Informatics (HI) is a multidisciplinary field that uses various methods of information technology to improve health care through any combination of higher quality, higher efficiency, and new opportunities (optimize care, patient's well-being and healthcare worker's performance and work satisfaction - while decreasing the costs).

The disciplines involved include computer science, social science, information science, cognitive science, behavioral science, management science, and others. HI deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine. HI tools include amongst others computers, clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and various information and communication systems. It is applied to the areas of clinical care, public health, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, alternative medicine and (bio)medical research.

This course will provide the participants with a broad insight into a highly multidisciplinary field where focus will be on central HI key challenges such as ICT to support patient-centered care; integration and standardization of medical data; data security and patient safety; HCI and user acceptance; cognition and medical problem solving; how to make common platforms for research and use for stakeholders with different backgrounds; and the path from the pioneering research in medical artificial intelligence, towards the vision of a future learning healthcare system. The participants will experience and learn that these key challenges are tightly intervened, and where the success within one area usually requires successful solutions within other areas. This will be exemplified through various areas of HI applications.

Learning Outcome

On successful completion of this course, the student

  • has knowledge about the recurrent themes in Health Informatics including their history, development and challenges over the years
  • has knowledge about the main areas of Health Informatics Applications
  • has knowledge about the challenges and future of informatics in health care

On successful completion of this course, the student should be capable of

  • identifying relevant research and challenges within Health Informatics and it¿s related research fields
  • explaining the need for and challenges of Health Informatics being a multidisciplinary field of both applications and research
  • explaining important general key factors required to ensure success for various types of HI applications
  • explaining general principles and challenges of data security, patient safety and ethics related to ICT-based applications and services within health care research

On successful completion of this course, the student has

  • gained knowledge and experience necessary to extract and present knowledge from HI research projects and HI research literature as scientific survey papers and survey presentations
  • the ability to evaluate different ICT-based services within health care with respect to various success factors
  • the ability to participate in the design of ICT-based services for health care that are built on current research status, current standards and other principles required for good ICT applications within health care.

Entry requirements

General admission requirements for the study programme, or holding a degree at the bachelor level (or higher) within relevant health care disciplines.

Teaching methods

The course consists of six hours of combined lectures and "hands-on exercises" per week, where some lectures might be given as flipped-classroom lectures or by the students presenting topics to be covered. In addition, there are smaller mandatory assignments and a larger project. The larger project work will be either as individual research survey studies of relevant problem areas, or as practical pre-projects of possible development projects (done in groups). The project must be documented in an approc.15 pages written reports for individual projects, and longer for group projects.

Compulsory learning activities

Taking the oral exam requires that the mandatory assignments and the larger project have been approved.


Letter grading on the basis of a 30-minute oral exam and the project work. The project report has a weight of 30 % in the final grade. Both the oral part and the project report part must result in a pass grade in order to pass the course.

Grading scale is A-F where F is fail.

Examination support material


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