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Health informatics research the focus of new institute


Waterloo, ON July 22, 2003 The University of Waterloo says it has taken a major step toward a more sustainable health care system in Canada with the launch of the Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research.

The new institute is a trans-disciplinary research collaborative aimed at the advancement of health through the discovery and development of new health informatics concepts and tools. The university says the institute is the first university-approved institute dedicated to health informatics research in Canada, and one of few in North America.

The institute brings together faculty from applied health sciences, computing, basic sciences, mathematics, arts, engineering and environmental studies to work together on addressing major information-related challenges. It also works with health organizations, private industry, government and experts at other academic centres on major health informatics research projects.

Health informatics is the discipline that investigates how information, information management, and information and communications technology can support and advance health and the health system.

Research at the institute focuses on the areas of health information management, the people and organizational aspects of informatics interventions in health, health informatics technologies and biomedical systems informatics. Examples of projects already underway include studies of the economics of information technology in the health system and research on techniques of ubiquitous computing applied to population interventional health.

About 50 faculty members from 15 departments and schools in all six faculties at UW make up the research team.