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Medical Informatics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications

Medical Informatics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Author(s)/Editor(s): Joseph Tan (McMaster University, Canada)
Copyright: ©2009
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9
ISBN13: 9781605660509
ISBN10: 1605660507
EISBN13: 9781605660516


View Medical Informatics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


Technological advances of the past two decades have profoundly reshaped and enhanced all aspects of medical research and practice. So important has technology become to the ability to continue to drive new medical advances, from basic biomedical research to applied clinical practice and healthcare delivery management, that the science of biomedical technology has become an important discipline in its own right, critical to the missions of a full range of organizations that comprise the medical industry.

Medical Informatics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications holds the most complete collection of cutting-edge medical IT research available in topics such as clinical knowledge management, medical informatics, mobile health and service delivery, and gene expression. This four-volume compilation provides researchers, academicians, and scholars in the field of medical information technology with more than 200 chapters by over 250 international experts in medical informatics. Medical Informatics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications is an essential reference publication for every library and medical institute striving to remain up-to-date with the latest techniques, approaches, and education in the medical IT field.

Table of Contents



The need to efficiently deliver and process information in the healthcare and biomedical sectors is a primary concern among practitioners, researchers, and patients alike. Medical informatics—a field that has emerged at the intersection of information technology and medicine—has transformed modern healthcare and created new, more pervasive methods for access to information, records, and even medical advice. As medical informatics continues to evolve and researchers continue to create and implement technologies for use in the study and practice of medicine, we must continue to understand, develop, and utilize the latest in medical research and exploration.

In recent years, the applications and technologies generated through the study of medical informatics have grown in both number and popularity. As a result, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, and educators have devised a variety of techniques and methodologies to develop, deliver, and, at the same time, evaluate the effectiveness of their use. The explosion of methodologies in the field has created an abundance of new, state-of-the-art literature related to all aspects of this expanding discipline. This body of work allows researchers to learn about the fundamental theories, latest discoveries, and forthcoming trends in the field of medical informatics.

Constant technological and theoretical innovation challenges researchers to remain informed of and continue to develop and deliver methodologies and techniques utilizing the discipline’s latest advancements. In order to provide the most comprehensive, in-depth, and current coverage of all related topics and their applications, as well as to offer a single reference source on all conceptual, methodological, technical, and managerial issues in medical informatics, Information Science Reference is pleased to offer a four-volume reference collection on this rapidly growing discipline. This collection aims to empower researchers, practitioners, and students by facilitating their comprehensive understanding of the most critical areas within this field of study.

This collection, entitled Medical Informatics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, is organized into eight distinct sections which are as follows: 1) Fundamental Concepts and Theories, 2) Development and Design Methodologies, 3) Tools and Technologies, 4) Utilization and Application, 5) Organizational and Social Implications, 6) Managerial Impact, 7) Critical Issues, and 8) Emerging Trends. The following paragraphs provide a summary of what is covered in each section of this multi-volume reference collection.

Section One, Fundamental Concepts and Theories, serves as a foundation for this exhaustive reference tool by addressing crucial theories essential to understanding medical informatics. Opening this elemental section is “Evaluation of Health Information Systems: Challenges and Approaches” by Elske Ammenwerth, Stefan Gräber, Thomas Bürkle, and Carola Iller. This selection addresses some of the primary issues and challenges in evaluating the use of IT in healthcare and suggests methods for improvement. Specific issues in medical informatics, such as the emergence of the Internet as a healthcare tool and knowledge management as it pertains to the healthcare industry, are discussed in selections such as “The Telehealth Divide” by Mary Schmeida and Ramona McNeal and “Knowledge Management in Healthcare” by Sushil K. Sharma, Nilmini Wickramasinghe, and Jatinder N.D. Gupta. Within the contribution “Information Technology (IT) and the Healthcare Industry: A SWOT Analysis,” authors Marilyn M. Helms, Rita Moore, and Mohammad Ahmadi utilize the SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to conceptualize and further evaluate the many issues facing IT implementation in healthcare, which include improved patient safety, cost, and user resistance. The selections within this comprehensive, foundational section allow readers to learn from expert research on the elemental theories underscoring medical informatics.

Section Two, Development and Design Methodologies, contains in-depth coverage of conceptual architectures and frameworks, providing the reader with a comprehensive understanding of emerging theoretical and conceptual developments within the development and utilization of medical technologies. “The Development of a Health Data Quality Programme” by Karolyn Kerr and Tony Norris presents the case of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s construction of a new data quality strategy aligned with the current health information program. Other selections, such as “Building Better E-Health Through a Personal Health Informatics Pedagogy” by E. Vance Wilson and “The PsyGrid Experience: Using Web Services in the Study of Schizophrenia” by John Ainsworth and Robert Harper, offer insight into the design and use of Web services to guide and inform medical decisions. The design and implementation of mobile-based health services is explored at length in selections such as “Enabling Conceptual Framework for Mobile-Based Application in Healthcare” by Matthew W. Guah; “Design of an Enhanced 3G-Based Mobile Healthcare System” by José Ruiz Mas, Eduardo Antonio Viruete Navarro, Carolina Hernández Ramos, Álvaro Alesanco Iglesias, Julián Fernández Navajas, Antonio Valdovinos Bardají, Robert S. H. Istepanian, and José García Moros; and “The M-Health Reference Model: An Organizing Framework for Conceptualizing Mobile Health Systems” by Phillip Olla and Joseph Tan. From basic designs to abstract development, chapters such as “A Cross-Cultural Framework for Evolution” by Pekka Turunenand and “A Distributed Patient Identification Protocol Based on Control Numbers with Semantic Annotation” by Marco Eichelberg, Thomas Aden, and Wilfried Thoben serve to expand the reaches of development and design methodologies within the field of medical informatics.

Section Three, Tools and Technologies, presents extensive coverage of various tools and technologies and their use in creating and expanding the reaches of health and biomedicine. The emergence of wireless and mobile devices and the opportunities these devices present for revolutionizing traditional patient care is the subject of articles such as “PDA Usability for Telemedicine Support” by Shirley Ann Becker; “A Preliminary Study toward Wireless Integration of Patient Information System” by Abdul-Rahman Al-Ali, Tarik Ozkul, and Taha Landolsi; and “Choosing Technologies for Handheld and Ubiquitous Decision Support” by Darren Woollatt, Paul Koop, Sara Jones, and Jim Warren. Advancements in imaging for medical and biomedical applications are analyzed and assessed in several selections, which include “Imaging the Human Brain with Magnetoencephalography” by Dimitrios Pantazis and Richard M. Leahy and “Imaging Technologies and their Applications in Biomedicine and Bioengineering” by Nikolaos Giannakakis and Efstratios Poravas. The latter of these two chapters discusses biomedical imaging technologies such as MRI and x-ray, offering insight into the research opportunities these technologies have provided as well as the limitations associated with their use. The rigorously researched chapters contained within this section offer readers countless examples of modern tools and technologies that emerge from or can be applied to the medical and healthcare sectors.

Section Four, Utilization and Application, investigates the use and implementation of medical technologies and informatics in a variety of contexts. This collection of innovative research begins with “Successful Health Information System Implementation” by Kristiina Häyrinen and Kaija Saranto in which primary success factors for employing health systems, such as system qualities, information quality, usage, user satisfaction, and individual impact, are analyzed. The delivery of health information via telecommunications networks (also known as telehealth) is studied in selections such as “Telehealth Organizational Implementation Guideline Issues: A Canadian Perspective” by researchers Maryann Yeo and Penny A. Jennett and “Tele-Medicine: Building Knowledge-Base Tele-Health Capability in New Zealand” by Nabeel A. Y. Al-Qirim. Further contributions explore other key strategies and factors that relate to the successful use of electronic health records, mobile e-health, ICT, and knowledge management in a medical environment. From established applications to forthcoming innovations, contributions in this section provide excellent coverage of today’s global community and demonstrate how medical informatics impacts the social, economic, and political fabric of our present-day global village.

Section Five, Organizational and Social Implications, includes a wide range of research pertaining to the organizational and cultural implications of medical informatics. “Using Hospital Web Sites to Enhance Communication” by Sherrie D. Cannoy and Lakshmi Iyer investigates patient communication-enhancing features of hospital Web sites, ultimately contending that a hospital’s Web presence must both address and cater to users’ communication needs in order to be effective. Web portals and their use in fostering social interaction and knowledge enhancement are explored at length in chapters such as “Intelligent Portals for Supporting Medical Information Needs” by Jane Moon and Frada Burstein, “Health Portals and Menu-Driven Identities” by Lynette Kvasny and Jennifer Warren, and “Empowerment and Health Portals” by Mats Edenius. Other issues that are surveyed within this section include the implications of the digital divide in healthcare within Michele Masucci’s “Digital Divide and E-Health Implications for E-Collaboration Research" and community-centered IT outreaches within Rosanna Tarsiero’s “Community-Based Information Technology Interventions for Persons with Mental Illness.” Overall, the discussions presented in this section offer insight into the integration of medical informatics in society and the benefit these innovations have provided.

Section Six, Managerial Impact, presents contemporary coverage of the managerial applications and implications of medical informatics. Core concepts such as information security management, outsourcing, and healthcare technology management are discussed in this collection. “Information Assurance in E-Healthcare” by Sherrie D. Cannoy and A. F. Salam addresses the healthcare industry’s limited adoption of IT advancements, which is now being remedied by new advancements in information assurance that guarantee the safety of patients’ medical records. Similarly, within their article “Modelling Context-Aware Security for Electronic Health Records,” Pravin Shetty and Seng Loke suggest context-based security policies for health organizations, which are able to adapt to new, incoming threats. Later contributions, such as “E-Health Dot-Coms’ Critical Success Factors,” further investigate the Internet’s role in reshaping healthcare. Within this selection, authors Abrams A. O’Buyonge and Leida Chen evaluate the business models utilized by heath-information Web sites (such as WebMD) and present the lessons learned from a managerial perspective. The comprehensive research in this section offers an overview of the major issues that healthcare practitioners, governments, and even consumers must address in order to remain informed about the latest managerial changes in the field of medical informatics.

Section Seven, Critical Issues, presents readers with an in-depth analysis of the more theoretical and conceptual issues within this growing field of study by addressing topics such as the quality and security of medical information. Specifically, these topics are discussed in selections such as “Medical Ethical and Policy Issues Arising from RIA” by Jimmie L. Joseph and David P. Cook and “E-Health Security and Privacy” by Yingge Wang, Qiang Cheng, and Jie Cheng. The latter of these two selections investigates relevant concepts, technologies, limitations, challenges, and trends in e-health security and privacy, along with standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Similarly, in contributions such as “Reliability and Evaluation of Health Information Online” by Elmer V. Bernstam, the issue of how to effectively evaluate online health information is debated and a how-to guide for obtaining medical information online is suggested. Later selections, which include “Ontology-Based Spelling Correction for Searching Medical Information,” review more novel issues, such as the difficulty in retrieving medical information online due to errors in spelling medical terms. In this chapter, researchers Jane Moon and Frada Burstein from Monash University propose an ontology-based architecture that would assist users with medical information retrieval. In all, the theoretical and abstract issues presented and analyzed within this collection form the backbone of revolutionary research in and evaluation of medical informatics.

The concluding section of this authoritative reference tool, Emerging Trends, highlights research potential within the field of medical informatics while exploring uncharted areas of study for the advancement of the discipline. The development and deployment of new forms of health information technologies (HITs) are proposed in Avnish Rastogi, Tugrul Daim, and Joseph Tan’s “Charting Health Information Technology Futures for Healthcare Services Organizations,” while the latest innovations in e-heath systems are analyzed in Pirkko Nykänen’s “E-Health Systems: Their Use and Visions for the Future.” In the contribution “Outsourcing of Medical Surgery and the Evolution of Medical Telesurgery,” Shawna Sando asserts that, due to the rising cost of healthcare in the United States, the best alternative for some low- and middle-class citizens is to seek medical care overseas—to engage in “medical tourism.” Other new trends, such as the emergence of evidence-based medicine, the creation of biotechnology portals in medicine, and revolutions in emergency medical services, are discussed in this collection. This final section demonstrates that medical informatics, with its propensity for constant change and evolution, will continue to both shape and define the modern face of healthcare and the ways in which we interact with health-related information.

Although the contents of this multi-volume book are organized within the preceding eight sections which offer a progression of coverage of important concepts, methodologies, technologies, applications, social issues, and emerging trends, the reader can also identify specific contents by utilizing the extensive indexing system listed at the end of each volume. Furthermore, to ensure that the scholar, researcher, and educator have access to the entire contents of this multi-volume set, as well as additional coverage that could not be included in the print version of this publication, the publisher will provide unlimited, multi-user electronic access to the online aggregated database of this collection for the life of the edition free of charge when a library purchases a print copy. In addition to providing content not included within the print version, this aggregated database is also continually updated to ensure that the most current research is available to those interested in medical informatics.

As medical technologies and the methods for evaluating medical data continue to evolve and new ways to store, process and access information are discovered, medical informatics will become an increasingly critical field of study. The nature of personal heath records, diagnosis, and even treatment have changed drastically due to the efforts of researchers, practitioners, and patients to make medical information more easily available, more secure, and of a higher quality than ever before. Innovations in the effective storage, retrieval, and understanding of medical information capitalize on the constant technological changes that seek to streamline and improve modern society.

The diverse and comprehensive coverage of medical informatics in this four-volume, authoritative publication will contribute to a better understanding of all topics, research, and discoveries in this developing, significant field of study. Furthermore, the contributions included in this multi-volume collection series will be instrumental in the expansion of the body of knowledge in this enormous field, resulting in a greater understanding of the fundamentals while also fueling the research initiatives in emerging fields. We at Information Science Reference, along with the editor of this collection, hope that this multi-volume collection will become instrumental in the expansion of the discipline and will promote the continued growth of medical informatics.


Reviews and Testimonials

The contributions included in this multi-volume collection series will be instrumental in the expansion of the body of knowledge in this enormous field, resulting in a greater understanding of the fundamentals while also fueling the research initiatives in emerging fields.

– Joseph Tan, Wayne State University, USA

The articles are written in an exploratory style, each including sections of introduction, background, future trends, and conclusion, making the work especially suitable for college students and professionals.

– Book News Inc. (Decemeber 2008)

Author's/Editor's Biography

Joseph Tan (Ed.)
Joseph Tan (Dip, BA, MS, PhD) holds a professional diploma in civil engineering from Singapore Polytechnic, an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science from Wartburg College, a master’s degree in industrial & management engineering from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in management information systems from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He has been a tenured associate professor teaching in the Department of Healthcare & Epidemiology at UBC for many years prior to serving as a professor and Head of Information System and Manufacturing (ISM) Department at the School of Business at Wayne State University.

Joseph has published research in computing, ergonomics, information systems, health informatics, health education, e-health, and e-business journals and has served as guest editor and member of various journal editorial boards. He sits on key organizing committees for local, national, and international meetings and conferences. Professor Tan’s research, which has enjoyed significant support in the last several years from local, national and international funding agencies and other sources, has also been widely cited and applied across a number of major disciplines, including healthcare informatics and clinical decision support, health technology management research, human processing of graphical representations, ergonomics, health administration education, telehealth, mobile health, and e-health promotion programming.


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