Thursday, January 14, 2010

Revised IMIA Education Recommendations Published

Revised IMIA Education Recommendations Published

The International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) have recently published revised recommendations on Education in Biomedical and Health Informatics. It can be downloaded from the Schattauer web site

The 16 page document is the culmination of several years work by experts from around the world and provides the first update since the IMIA guidelines were first published in 1999. It includes a review of major publications in the field and tries to draw together developments from significant fields and applies these to identify the knowledge and skills needed in the area. The recommendations focus on the educational preparation needed for specialists in Biomedical and Health Informatics, but also suggests areas and competencies for Continuing Professional Development courses and initial education for clinicians.

I am not aware of any programme which achieves everything that is recomended, but dows provide a useful basis for those developing or revisiong educational provision in the area.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I've just received the latest IMIA monthly news bulletin (no. 5, 04 September 2009)

For more frequent news updates, see IMIA News site at

IMIA website:
MedInfo2010 website:
For all official IMIA communications, please use

*** IS SEPTEMBER 30, 2009

a] Early bird registration deadline
b] Please publicise locally
c] Registration and accommodation site
Forthcoming events
a] IMIA Working group activities
b] National and regional events
2009 General Assembly meeting
METHODS4 Table of Contents


a] Early bird registration deadline

Early Bird Registration open until 18 December 2009
Register and pay on-line at

b] Please publicise MedInfo 2010

Please publicise MedInfo 2010 in your national societies, groups, among colleagues, and through any mailing lists you may belong to. We wish to encourage widespread awareness of the event, scientific submissions, and attendance.
Consider putting a link to the MedInfo 2010 website in your email signature file.

c] Registration and accommodation site open

The site for conference registration and accommodation booking is now open - via the main MedInfo 2010 website, or directly at

Forthcoming events

a] IMIA Working group activities

IMIA Working Group on Human Factors Engineering in Health Informatics symposium - Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma Valley, California USA on November 12-13, 2009, just prior to the Annual AMIA Symposium in San Francisco. See the event website: (or via

IMIA Working Group Security in Health Information Systems (SiHIS) Working Conference on the theme ¡°Trustworthiness of health information ¡­ Issues in security and system management for patient safety¡± - International Conference Center, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan on 21-24 November, 2009. See the event website:

b] National, regional and other events

The following is a selection of forthcoming and newly notified events. We ask IMIA members to register their events through the IMIA website to hekp us in publicising them -

Medicine 2.0¡ä09: 17-18 September 2009 at the MaRS Centre, Toronto, Canada.

HINZ09 ¨C the 8th Annual Conference and Exhibition of Health Informatics New Zealand ( ¨C will take place on 30 September ¨C 2 October, 2009 at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Information is on the conference page at

eHealth Forum 2009: 8 ¨C 9 October 2009 at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, 99 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong.

HIMSS10 (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference and Exhibition): 1-4 March, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

EFMI STC (Special Topic Conference) 2010: 2-4 June, 2010 in Reykjav¨ªk, Iceland.

MIE2011, the 23rd international conference of EFMI, the European Federation for Medical Informatics: 28-31 August, 2011 in Oslo and Akerhus in Norway.

2009 General Assembly meeting

The 2009 IMIA General Assembly meeting will take place on Wednesday November 25, 2009 in Hiroshima, Japan (and the IMIA Board on 24 November). This will be in conjunction with the 'Collaborative Meetings on Health Informatics - CoMHI 2009', which will include APAMI 2009, Working Group and other meetings, and many associated activities in the period November 21-25.

Full information will be available through the IMIA website and at:

METHODS4 Table of Contents

METHODS of Information in Medicine is an official journal of IMIA. Volume 48, Issue 4 is now available - the Table of Contents is at

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Medinfo2010 submission dates

Cape Town, South Africa will host the 13th International Congress on Medical Informatics from the 13 - 16 of September 2010.

The medinfo2010 website has been relaunched with information on submission deadlines, etc. - in particular, please note:

Abstracts Deadlines

Deadline for early submissions, for those who wish to participate in Scientific Mentor Scheme:
01 July 2009

Feedback from mentors for Scientific Mentor participants:
01 August 2009

Deadline for paper submissions:
30 September 2009

See for current information (note some areas will be updated in coming weeks and months)

The Scientific Mentor scheme is one of several new initiatives - the aim is to provide additional support to early career researchers and non-native English speakers. Participants can submit their papers early and will be provided with feedback about their papers from a member of the panel of international health informatics experts. Those wishing to participate in this scheme must submit their paper by 1st July 2009. Authors will then need to submit their final paper by the Congress paper deadline of 30th September 2009. The papers will then proceed through the normal Congress review process.

Consider submitting to and attending medinfo2010 and help to make the first African medinfo a success.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Global informatics training funding

Neil Versel has reported on his Healthcare IT Blog that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a $1.2 million grant to promote health informatics and biomedical education and training worldwide, particularly in developing countries.

Although I can't find any reference to this on the AMIA, IMIA or Foundation web site, Neil reports that "AMIA will use the Gates Foundation money to develop "scaleable" approaches to e-health education, including a replicable blueprint for training informatics leaders, including physicians, medical records professionals, computer scientists and medical librarians". He suggests that "confirmed or likely participating organizations include the European Federation for Medical Informatics, the Asia Pacific Organization for Medical Informatics and the Health Informatics Society of Australia".

If this is true it could potentially enhance health informatics education by encouraging the development and sharing of educational resources. A possible downside may be that the money could be spent in the US to create learning objects and opportunities which might not end up being suitable for "low-cost healthcare in the less-developed economies".

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Medicine 2.0 Congress in Toronto, Sept. 2008

The Medicine 2.0 Congress will take place in Toronto, Canada on September 4-5th, 2008. This is an international conference, with the focus on Web 2.0 applications in health and medicine; it is organized and co-sponsored by the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the International Medical Informatics Association, the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, CHIRAD, and a number of other sponsoring organizations.

The Call for Abstracts is now open for abstracts, speaker and panel proposals - go to and pre-register. The conference invites academic and international contributions, and also covers areas such as Science 2.0, Peer-Review 2.0, and social networking for consumers AND health professionals. See the topic list at the CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Deadline for abstracts is May 2, 2008. Among possible topics to address are:
  • Building virtual communities and social networking applications for
  • health professionals, patients and consumers;
  • Collaborative biomedical research, academic / scholarly communication,
  • publishing and peer review;
  • Consumer empowerment, patient-physician relationship, and
  • sociotechnical issues;
  • Ethical & legal issues, confidentiality and privacy;
  • Personal health records and Patient portals;
  • Public (e-)health, population health technologies, surveillance;
  • Search, Collaborative Filtering and Recommender Technologies;
  • Semantic Web ("Web 3.0") applications;
  • The nature and dynamics of social networks in health;
  • Usability and human factors on the web;
  • Virtual (3D) environments, Second Life;
  • Web 2.0 approaches for clinical practice, clinical research, quality
  • monitoring;
  • Web2.0-based medical education and learning;
  • and much more.
Please feel free to disseminate this information; there is a button on the front page that allows you to quickly share via several social networking and other sites.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Help needed classifying keywords for IMIA

Prof Graham Wright is looking for help classifying keywords in the emerging Knowledge Base for the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).

Building on, in part, the Otley outputs, a second phase of work is being jointly funded by IMIA and BCSHIF to develop the knowledge core for IMIA, and the wider international health informatics community.

Phase 2 methods and pilot results

In Phase 1, the Otley workshop, a group of health informatics experts was asked to identify the elements of the discipline of health informatics. For Phase 2, the published and peer-reviewed literature is taken to be a valid proxy for such expertise. A literature analysis examining the emerging themes and high level descriptors is being undertaken, using document and discourse analysis software and methods. This is based in an analysis of available electronic literature, and will additionally use established and novel indexing and analysis techniques. The method is acknowledged to be similar to that used by Lorenzi to develop the original IMIA Scientific Map, but makes use of materials and methods not available at that time.

Use of keywords in many publications depends on author selection as opposed to a consistent approach, and is causing some issues in indexing, and different 'in vogue' terms in different places and times seem to be skewing some of the results of the literature searches. All of these issues are important factors that we will be analysing as the current research phase unfolds. A search of Pubmed using Reference Manager 11 using a set of search criteria Included:-
Health Informatics
Medical Informatics
Clinical Informatics
Nursing Informatics
Pharmacy Informatics
Dental Informatics

But excluded Bioinformatics because of the heavy orientation in the literature to genomics.

The keywords in each article were extracted and transferred to an access database and then an excel spreadsheet.

Some 10,000 different words were produced and these were given to a team of information experts at a workshop in London on the 24th January 2007. The group reduced this list to 444 words that seemed to be associated with the areas of health informatics as opposed to being merely English words and phases used in the articles.

In addition the index of the last five years of the British Journal of Healthcare Computing was used as a pilot and the experts gathered in January produced a second set of themes and elements extending the Otley outputs.

How you can help

If you feel you could help
Graham has prepared a spreadsheet which contains the latest version of the emerging Knowledge Base for IMIA. He is looking for volunteers to spend twenty minutes or so classifying keywords.

Please contact him on and he will send you a copy of the spreadsheet and full instructions.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

IMIA Web 2.0 Taskforce set up

IMIA, the International Medical Informatics Association ( has set up a Web 2.0 Exploratory Taskforce. It aims to bring together interested individuals from within and outside IMIA to explore the nature and potential of Web 2.0 applications, aiming at developing background materials and proposing specific lines of action for the IMIA Board and General Assembly.

Or in other words, we want to look at what Web 2.0 is (and beyond to think about 3.0), what it might offer IMIA and the wider health informatics community, how it might affect the future development of the discipline and health more widely, what tools we might use to support IMIA's activities as we develop our e-services - and anything else that seems relevant.

The Taskforce is being co-ordinated (in the first instance) by Peter Murray, IMIA Vice President for Working Groups and Special Interest Groups, and Lincoln A. Moura Jr., IMIA Treasurer. We welcome involvement from anyone with interest in what we are doing - and especially people with expertise in Web 2.0, in particular if they are from Europe and Asia-Pacific areas, as we have few Taskforce members from those areas at the moment. Email pjm.imia[at] with what you can contribute to the work.

We have set up a portal with information about the scope of the work, and that will collate information on and links to work as it develops. See

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