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Integration Of Medical Informatics Into Computer Science Curriculum

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.805.1 - 11.805.8



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Paper Authors

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Mahmoud Quweider University of Texas-Brownsville

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Juan Iglesias University of Texas-Brownsville

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Amjad Zaim University of Texas-Brownsville

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integration of Medical Informatics into Computer Science Curriculum


Biomedical informatics has been defined as the discipline concerned with the systematic processing of data, information and knowledge in medicine and health care. It is an interdisciplinary field based on computer science, information science, the cognitive and decision sciences, telecommunications as well as other fields. Because of the rich and diverse nature of medical information, it has created a fertile ground for innovations and applied research particularly from the prospective of computer science and information technology. Although medical informatics has been recognized as a standalone science, few colleges and universities with computer science programs have acknowledged medical informatics as a viable application and have recognized the importance of incorporating medical informatics courses into their curriculum. Also, there has been no unified approach as to how topics in medical informatics should be integrated into the curriculum. In this paper, we address the need to have a structured paradigm for embedding medical informatics courses in computer science programs in a way that allows students to achieve a multitude of knowledge and a high-level of proficiency which will ultimately enable them to apply their problems-solving skills in health and medicine. We define three main areas from which these courses are derived. First, methodologies for processing data, information and knowledge in medicine and health care are essential for analysis and management of clinical data in research and medical practice especially in administrative and clinical decision supports. Second, understanding the clinical workflow of a typical hospital information system is also crucial for the design of electronic medical record applications and hospital network topology. Finally, biometric applications invite computer scientists to fully employ their knowledge in artificial intelligence and security systems. We believe that our work may contribute as future guidelines for incorporating medical informatics as an optional track in computer science programs.


In the past, Medical Informatics was considered as merely an area of application of computer science in healthcare. Today, Biomedical or Medical Informatics is an emerging discipline that can be defined as the study, invention, and implementation of structures and algorithms to improve communication, understanding and management of medical information. Its rapid growth is due in large to the explosion in data from all areas of medicine and biology as well as the exponential advancement in computer science and information technology. The end objective of biomedical informatics is the coalescing of data, knowledge, and the tools necessary to apply that data and knowledge in the decision-making process, at the time and place that a decision needs to be made. The emphasis on the structures and algorithms necessary to manipulate the information separates Biomedical Informatics from other medical disciplines where information content is in focus. While historically innovations in computer science and information

Quweider, M., & Iglesias, J., & Zaim, A. (2006, June), Integration Of Medical Informatics Into Computer Science Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--824

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