We propose the development of an exploratory study related to the intersection between two areas of great interest in Health Informatics: Medical Informatics (MI), and Bio informatics (BI). The merge between medicine and genomic is giving rise to molecular medicine. This new area promises the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic solutions adapted to the genetic traits of patients. The importance of this new discipline is originating that bio informatics, defined as the application of informatics in the processing of genetic information, and medical informatics, defined as the application of informatics in the processing of health information, are beginning to interact. The core of the study is to advance in the identification of common areas of interest between these disciplines, identifying which are the opportunities for collaboration, how synergy can be originated.
The project's main objective is to carry out a Prospective Analysis on the Relationships and Synergy between Medical Informatics and Bio informatics.
We propose the development of an exploratory study related to the intersection between these two areas and the potential synergy that could arise based on the fact that Information Technologies will play a key role in integrating genetic advances into more efficient clinical practice, public health and consumer protection.
Several proposed tasks are:
1. Analysis of the state of the art in this area (background, technology, standards, bibliography);
2. Identification of future R&D topics (short and long term);
3. Identification of interested groups and key players in Europe, USA and world-wide;
4. Organisation of a workshop.
While Health Informatics has always been one of the key issues around the definition of Information Society, bio informatics has perhaps been more associated to life science research programs. However this is changing now. From the completion of the Human Genome Project, genetic data will increasingly be found in health information systems and sound studies on the technological, methodological and ethical issues related to this fact are needed for advancing in the delivery of efficient healthcare solutions for professionals and citizens.
Therefore we will concentrate in those areas located at the intersection between MI and BI regarding three different perspectives:
1. The integration of genomic data into health information systems (clinical, epidemiological, telematics);
2. Health applications of bioinformatics (SNPs, DNA arrays, proteomics data);
3. The synergy between BI and MI to facilitate Molecular Medicine (integrated approaches merging BI and MI).
To review the first perspective, an approach will be made based on the analysis of the different health information levels from an organizational complexity point of view. From the information processing at the molecular to the population level different proposals will be made concerning new developments that integrate genetic and clinical information. Similar approaches will be established for the analysis of the rest of the issues. Although during the last years bio informatics has achieved big success in managing genomic data and medical informatics has not participated directly in these efforts, one key point of this study will be to remark that we are witnessing the birth of a new era (post-genomics) where the availability of technological advancements and their promise of clinical applications offer new opportunities for health informaticians to collaborate with bio-informaticians in this relevant challenge.
- Knowledge of the situation of medical informatics and bio informatics R&D;
- Inventory of standardisation initiatives of interest;
- Identification of research and development priority lines;
- Detection of key areas where more expertise is needed;
- Identification of applications, methods and knowledge that can be exchanged between MI and BI
- Identification of groups of interest and key players;