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CS Course Leads to Groundbreaking Health Informatics Text

6/29/2011 9:22:00 AM

University of Illinois professor Bruce Schatz, an affiliate faculty member in Computer Science, has co-authored a groundbreaking book on Health Informatics based on his popular computer science course. The text is the first book combining the solutions of modern computer science with the problems of modern medical science. The book is expected to be a key reference for professionals working in health management, from information to healthcare executive, health information technologist to computer scientist, and physician to patient.

Schatz co-authors Healthcare Infrastructure: Health Systems for Individuals and Populations
Schatz co-authors Healthcare Infrastructure: Health Systems for Individuals and Populations
Schatz co-authors Healthcare Infrastructure: Health Systems for Individuals and Populations

Healthcare Infrastructure: Health Systems for Individuals and Populations describes the new healthcare infrastructure that will gather personal health records from every individual and correlate each longitudinal record across whole populations.  The book explains the problems of personal medicine and public health, then the solutions possible with information technology.

“Much of health information is neither black nor white, but resides in the center of an information distribution curve, the grey are in-between well and sick, positive and negative,” says Schatz.  Schatz explains that while medical records are stored on databases and retrieved on computers, the information remains that of the physical era of paper and handwritten notes and test results.

“What is needed is a vast backbone, a health care infrastructure consisting broadly of health and deeply of medical information, which is recorded through personal sensors, analyzed on supercomputers, communicated through networks, and accessed through computers,” says Schatz.  His new text is about that infrastructure: who will use it, what problems it solves, where it will be used, why it chooses its designs, and how it works.

Schatz is professor and head of medical information science at Illinois and an affiliate in computer science.  His co-author, Dr. Richard Berlin, co-teaches the CS 416: Health Informatics course with Schatz. Online selections from the book can read at http://www.springer.com/medicine/book/978-0-85729-451-7.