CS6440: Introduction to Health Informatics — Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 semester of the CS6440 class will begin on August 19, 2019. This page provides information about the Georgia Tech CS6440 class on Health Informatics relevant only to the Fall 2019 semester. Note that this page is subject to change at any time. Below, you will find a basic form of the course’s calendar, grading criteria, and other information.
For more complete information about the course’s requirements and learning objectives, please see Course Description and Goals.
To help with navigation, here are some of the links you’ll be using frequently in this course:
Tools: Udacity Sign-On | Canvas | INGInious | Github | Piazza | Slack
Class Pages: CS6440 Home | Spring 2019 Full Calendar | Reading List
Team Project: D0 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | D5
Participation: Class Participation | Assessments | Case Studies | Start-of-Course Survey | Quarter-Course Survey | Mid-Course Survey | Third-Quarter Survey | End-of-Course Survey | CIOS Survey
Course Calendar At-A-Glance
Below is a view of the calendar for the Fall 2019 CS6440 class that focuses on the graded deliverables. All of the assignment due dates are on Sundays at 11:59PM Anywhere on Earth time. We recommend changing your time zone in Canvas to show the due date in your local time. For the COMPLETE course calendar, please see the Full Course Calendar.
|Week #||Week Of||Lessons||Deliverable||Assignment Due Date|
|1||01/07/2019||1 , 2, 3||Introductions, Practice Activities (Welcome! & Easy Code), Start-of-Course Survey, CYU, CS #1||01/13/2019|
|2||01/14/2019||6||CS #2, CYU||01/20/2019|
|3||01/21/2019||4, 5||CS #3, Project Deliverable 0||01/27/2019|
|4||01/28/2019||7||Data Standards Activities (HealthVault, ICD, CPT, LOINC, NDC, RxNorm, SNOWMED, Data Standards)||02/03/2019|
|5||02/04/2019||8||Project Deliverable 0, Quarter-Course Survey||02/10/2019|
|6||02/11/2019||9||CS #4, Assessment 1, Project Deliverable 1, OC: Team Meetings – No In-Class Lecture Tuesday 2/12||02/17/2019|
|7||02/18/2019||10||CYU, OC: Team Meetings – No In-Class Lectures 2/19 & 2/21||02/24/2019|
|8||02/25/2019||FHIR Activities (Simple & Advanced); OC: Present your project plans in class Tuesday 2/26||03/03/2019|
|9||03/04/2019||12||CS #5, Project Deliverable 2, Mid-Course Survey||03/10/2019|
|12||03/25/2019||CS #6, Applied HI Activities (mHealth, i2b2, FRED, CDS Hooks, Argonaut & FHIR Path), Project Deliverable 3||03/31/2019|
|13||04/01/2019||Third Quarter-Course Survey, OC: Team Meetings – No In-Class Lectures 4/2 & 4/4||04/07/2019|
|14||04/08/2019||OC: Team Meetings – No In-Class Lectures 4/9 & 4/11||04/14/2019|
|15||04/15/2019||Project Deliverable 4, Project Deliverable 5, OC: Present your Progress Report / Draft Presentation in class Tuesday 4/16||04/21/2019|
|16||04/22/2019||End-of-Course Survey, CIOS Survey, Team Evaluation, OC: Team Meetings – No In-Class Lecture (4/23); Final Project Presentations (4/25)||04/28/2019|
Given above are the numeric labels for each Udacity lesson. For reference, here are those lessons’ titles:
- 1 Introduction to Health Informatics
- 2 US Healthcare
- 3 EHRs
- 4 Patient Tools
- 5 HIE
- 6 Data Standards
- 7 Interoperability Standards (Prior to FHIR)
- 8 Interoperability Standards (FHIR)
- 9 A Universal Health App Platform
- 10 mHealth
- 11 Public and Population Health
- 12 Analytics and Visualization
Your grade in this class is generally consists of three components: individual activities/programming exercises, a team project, and participation (Assessments, Case Studies, “Check Your Understanding (CYU)” evaluations and surveys). These are weighted in the final grade calculation as explained below.
Final grades will be assigned as follows:
- Grades of 90pts or above will receive an A;
- Grades of 80pts to 90pts will receive a B;
- Grades of 70pts to 80pts will receive a C;
- Grades of 60pts to 70pts will receive a D;
- Grades below 60pts will receive an F.
There is no curve. Assignments and projects that are not submitted at all will be calculated as a 0.
Individual Assignments (30pts)
- Activities (30pts): There are 21 required activities. These “hands on” activities enhance the material covered in each of the three sections. Each of the activities vary in weight (see the Activities page for more details). The activities are auto-graded, with outcomes at or between 0% and 100%. 0% is given for wrong or incomplete solutions, 1%-99.99% is given for those partial solutions and 100% is given for fully correct solutions. These outcomes are then converted to points. There are 2 required practice activities that are worth a total of 0 points.
- FHIR Advanced Read Activity (worth 3points) with a score of 50% would be converted into 1.5pts towards the individual assignment grade (worth a total of 30pts).
- FHIR Advanced Delete Activity (worth 2points) with a score of 100% would be converted into 2pts towards the individual assignment grade (worth a total of 30pts).
Team Project (35pts)
There is only one project in this course: a team project, worth 35 points or 35% of your overall grade. For the team project, you will select a healthcare technology problem, by a mentor or by your own research. At the conclusion, you will deliver a final project, graded out of 100 points, as a team that contains your final application solution. The application will be open sourced.
The Team Project is comprised of 7 deliverables and a team evaluation. Each of the deliverables vary in weight (see the Team Project page for more details). The deliverables are manually graded, with outcomes between 0-100%. The deliverable grades are based on the requirements, which also serves as the rubric. These outcomes are then converted to points.
- D1 (worth 3points) with a score of 95% would be converted into 2.85pts towards the team project grade (worth a total of 35pts).
- D3 (worth 5points) with a score of 100% would be converted into 5.00pts towards the team project grade (worth a total of 35pts).
Health Informatics is a growing and collaborative field, where most breakthroughs and discoveries are made by team effort. In this course, you will have the opportunity to interact with your peers, field experts and cutting edge healthcare technology. You will witness the various approaches taken by your classmates to the class’s assignments and projects. Thus, participation credit may be earned in one of four ways: by completing assessments based on the lectures and course material, by completing case study exercises, by completing “check your understanding” evaluations and by completing the five surveys offered by the class itself. Note that all types of participation are graded not only on their quantity, but also on their quality.
Each of the deliverables vary in weight (see the Class Participation page for more details). The participation deliverables are both automatically and manually graded, with outcomes in the form of points.
- Assessments (12pts): There are two assessments in the course. The assessments comprise questions regarding the course material including lectures, case studies, and activities. The two assessments cover weeks 1-5 and 6-10 respectively. They are not cumulative, so please keep that in mind as you complete them. The assessments are graded on a point scale, which together comprise 12% of your grade or 12pts; thus, each assessment is weighted as 6pts each and is therefore worth 6% of your grade.
- Case Studies (14pts): There are six case studies in the course. These case studies are individual assignments that serve as a way to provide depth in the application of the course material. The case studies are graded on a point scale, which together comprise 14% of your grade or 14pts; thus, each case study is weighted differently and is therefore worth a various % of your grade.
- Check Your Understanding (CYU) (4pts): There are four “Check Your Understanding” evaluations in this course. These evaluations are individualized, to help you make sure you understand the basics of specific aspects of the course and requirements. The evaluations are graded on a point scale, which together comprise 4% of your grade or 4pts.
- Assessment 1 (worth 6points) with a score of 4.5pts, 4.5pts will be added towards the participation grade (worth a total of 35pts).
- Case study 1 (worth 2points) with a score of 1 pt, 1pt will be added towards the participation grade (worth a total of 35pts).
- Check Your Understanding (each worth 1point) with a score of 0.5pts, 0.5pts would be added towards the participation grade (worth a total of 35pts).
- Start-of-Course Survey (worth 1point) with a score of 1pt, 1pt would be added towards the participation grade (worth a total of 35pts).
Check Your Understanding (CYU) Evaluations and Surveys are worth 1 point each and are issued throughout the duration of the course.
These assignments vary by semester in offering and in value. Please check out the Stretch Assignment page for more information.
The following policies are binding for this course.
Official Course Communication
You are responsible for knowing the following information:
- Anything posted to this syllabus (including the pages linked from here).
- Anything posted to the general course landing page.
- Anything posted to Canvas
- Anything emailed directly to you by the teaching team (including announcements via Piazza), 24 hours after receiving such an email.
Because Piazza announcements are emailed to you as well, you need only to check your Georgia Tech email once every 24 hours to remain up-to-date on new information during the semester. Georgia Tech generally recommends students to check their Georgia Tech email once every 24 hours. So, if an announcement or message is time sensitive, you will not be responsible for the contents of the announcement until 24 hours after it has been sent.
We generally prefer to handle communication via Piazza to help with collaboration among the teaching team, but we understand Piazza is not ideal for having information “pushed” to you. We may contact you via a private Piazza post instead of an email, but if we do so, we will choose to send email notifications immediately, bypassing your individual settings, in order to ensure you’re alerted.
Note that in four years as a Georgia Tech OMSCS instructor, I’ve encountered exactly one instance of a time-sensitive email; so, the 24-hour rule likely won’t ever be relevant. As with other things, however, we believe it’s better to be clear at the beginning rather than write policies later.
Note that this means you won’t be responsible for knowing information communicated in several other methods we’ll be using. You aren’t responsible for knowing anything posted to Piazza that isn’t linked from an official announcement. You aren’t responsible for anything said in Slack, or other third-party sites we may sometimes use to communicate with students. You don’t need to worry about missing critical information so long as you keep up with your email and understand the documents on this web site.
This semester, we’ll be using Slack for office hours. If you are unaware, Slack is a popular team communication chat tool that allows conversations in public rooms, private rooms, and private messages. Slack office hours are times when the instructor and/or one or more teaching assistants will be available on the dedicated CS6440 student Slack community. You can sign up for the student Slack community at omscs6440.slack.com.
During Slack office hours, the instructor and/or teaching assistants in attendance will be available for conversations in the public #office-hours channel, or in private one-on-one channels. You are also encouraged to use the Slack community for discussions, project work, or anything else. The instructors and/or TAs will be available during office hours, but they may also be available at other times as well.
To find when office hours for OMS CS6440 are being held, check the office hours calendar or the weekly announcements. Changes to any given office hours session on the calendar will always be made at least 24 hours in advance; if late changes are needed, they’ll be announced with a Piazza announcement. If you are not comfortable signing up for Slack to participate in Slack office hours, you may also feel free to email or post privately on Piazza to set up a chat via an alternate technology at the same time. If you would like to participate in office hours but are unable to make the given times, feel free to email or post privately on Piazza and we’ll try our best to accommodate you.
Running such a large class involves a detailed workflow for assigning assignments to graders, grading those assignments, and returning those grades. As such, work that does not enter into that workflow presents a major delay. Thus, we cannot accept any late work in this class. All assignments must be submitted by the posted deadlines. If you have technical difficulties submitting the assignment to Canvas, post privately to Piazza immediately and attach your submission.
If you have an emergency and absolutely cannot submit an assignment by the posted deadlines, we ask you to go through the Dean of Students’ office regarding class absences with in 48 hours of the cause or incident. The Dean of Students is equipped to address emergencies that we lack the resources to address. Additionally, the Dean of Students office can coordinate with you and alert all your classes together instead of requiring you to contact each professor individually. You may find information on contacting the Dean of Students with regard to personal emergencies here: https://gatech-advocate.symplicity.com/care_report/
The Dean of Students is there to be an advocate and partner for you when you’re in a crisis; we wholeheartedly recommend taking advantage of this resource if you are in need. Justifiable excuses here would involve any major unforeseen disruption to your classwork, such as illnesses, injuries, deaths, and births, all for either you or your family. If you find that you will miss a significant portion of the course due to any one of theses excuses, we highly advise dropping the course if you will not be able to catch up. Note that for foreseen but unavoidable conflicts, like weddings, business trips, and conferences, you should complete your work in advance; this is why we have made sure to provide all assignment and project resources in advance. If you have such a conflict specifically with the tests, let us know and we’ll try to work with you. Unfortunately, team projects are hard to make up so if your TA mentor finds that there isn’t much you could do to make up aiding in a project, we will work to assign you an “Incomplete” for the course.
(also See “Stretch Assignments” above)
In general, we strongly encourage collaboration in this class. You are encouraged to discuss the course material, the activities, the written assignments, and project with your classmates, both before and after assignments and projects are due. Similarly, we will be posting the best assignments for public viewing so you may learn from the success of others’ designs.
However, we draw a firm line regarding what copying is permissible in your assignments. Specifically, you must adhere to the following rules:
- Any content that is copied or barely paraphrased from existing literature in healthcare or health informatics must be cited, both in the references at the conclusion of your assignment and in-line where the borrowed material appears. Failing to provide in-line citations for borrowed material will be regarded as plagiarism even if the source is provided in the references. This applies to figures as well as text, including those figures that are part of this course’s material. Any cited content greater than two sentences need to be properly cited and rewritten in your own words.
- Do not copy any content from other students in current or previous semesters of Introduction to Health Informatics or Health Informatics in the Cloud, even if cited.
- Each Essay and Programming Assignment will be reviewed with applicable plagiarism tools.
In all written work, sources should be cited in APA style, both in-line and at the end of the document. Please consult the Purdue OWL for information on when and how to cite sources in research. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask!
Welcome to CS6440: Introduction to Health Informatics!
Welcome! This is the landing page for Georgia Tech’s CS6440 Introduction to Health Informatics course. This page provides general information about the course. Specific information about a given semester’s assignments, grading, or scheduling can be found under that semester’s page and the Calendar page.
What is Health Informatics?
Health informatics seeks to integrate medical domain knowledge, information technology, and data to the enhance the delivery of care to patients and improve our understanding of health and disease.
About This Course
This is an introductory course on health informatics designed for a range of student backgrounds including computer science, engineering, human-computer interaction, biomedical sciences, and related domains. It touches on most of the key domains within health informatics to help students determine if they wish to pursue it further and, if they do, which of many possible directions they might take.
Conceptually the course is in three sections:
- Section 1: Healthcare Systems and Data (Lessons 1-5) provides background on the structure of the US healthcare system, its key challenges and the efforts the federal government and others have made to spur the use of digital records and data standards to help overcome those challenges. It also provides a snapshot of the current state of the key informatics tools for providers, patients and data sharing among them.
- Section 2: Healthcare Interoperability (Lessons 6-9) covers the key interoperability standards that are the ‘digital plumbing’ that support virtually all healthcare systems and tools. The course emphasizes the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard that supports data sharing and creates a ‘universal health app platform’ supporting innovative ways for providers and patients to use health data.
- Section 3: Future Facing Health Informatics Technologies (Lessons 10-12) introduces three of the current cutting-edge areas of health informatics: mHealth, public/population health and big data/analytics as well as a deep dive into application development.
Learning Goals and Outcomes
The goals of this course are to:
- Equip students with a working knowledge of the unique structure and problems of the US healthcare system.
- Provide students with a basic understanding of current informatics tools and systems and their limitations.
- Introduce students to the data and interoperability standards used to support those systems and tools with an emphasis on the new FHIR standard and an appreciation of the SMART on FHIR app platform built upon it.
- Provide students with a unique opportunity to work on an actual SMART on FHIR app under the guidance of a healthcare domain expert.
By the end of this course, students should:
- Be familiar with health data, how it is generated and used
- Be able to build an interoperable health application
- Be aware that health is a strong career path for students with CS and other technical backgrounds
Elements of the Course Grade
Course grades are based on:
- Successful completion of a set of structured activities, programming exercises, and case studies
- Results of their team’s FHIR-based application development project
- Scores on 2 content assessments
- Class Participation as measured by individual contributions to team projects, survey completion and Piazza.
Students should have at least a basic computer science background, however NO previous knowledge of health informatics is assumed or required. Any Georgia Tech student who is willing to put in the necessary time for course work should be prepared to do well. In fact, the team FHIR app development projects, a major component of the course, benefit from students with diverse technical skills and backgrounds.
Technical requirements include:
- Browser and connection speed: An up-to-date version of Chrome or Firefox is strongly recommended. We also support IE9 and the desktop version of IE 10 and above (not the metro versions) – however not recommended. Internet speeds should be at least 2+ Mbps and at minimum 0.768 Mbps download speed.
- Operating Systems: PC: Windows 7 or higher with latest updates installed. Mac: OS X 10.6 or higher with latest updates installed. Linux: Any recent distribution that has the supported browsers installed. Chromebooks are acceptable as long as you can perform all required coursework.
The information on this page is general to the CS6440 class. Specific information for the Spring 2019 course is on that semester page.