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DAT254 Health Informatics

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

Health Informatics (HI) is an interdisciplinary 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 ideally decreasing the costs).

The disciplines involved (in addition to medicine and the health sciences) include computer science, social science, information science, cognitive science, behavioural 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 and (bio)medical research.

This course will provide the participants with a broad insight into a highly interdisciplinary field where focus will be on central HI key challenges such as ICT to support patient-centered care; integration, standardization, and interoperability of medical data (representation and communication); 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
  • applying currently accepted interoperability standards (e.g. HL7 FHIR) to clinical care examples

General competence

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 a term paper (final report).

Compulsory learning activities

Taking the oral exam requires that a number of mandatory assignments (a programming project, written reports, oral presentations) and the larger project (term paper) have been approved.

Approved assignments are valid for the examination term and the two following terms.


The course has an examination in two parts: an oral exam and a project report.

The project report counts for 30% of the final grade and the oral exam counts for 70% of the final grade.

Both parts must get a passing grade in order to get a final grade for the course.

In case one of the parts gets a failing grade, that part can be taken as a re-sitting/postponed exam.

Grading scale is A-F where F is fail.

Examination support material


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