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.