Message from the Chair
Our program has a new name since fall 2018: Health Informatics and Bioinformatics or HIB instead of previously Medical and Bioinformatics. The main reasons for the change were to improve the visibility of the program and to give our graduates a degree that is more commonly recognized in the healthcare field.
Health informatics is currently very much in demand. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) was enacted in 2009. Under the HITECH Act, the Department of Health and Human Services expanded the adoption of health information technology, esp. the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Therefore, there is an increasing need for a larger and better trained workforce in medical informatics.
One of the challenges besides putting Electronic Health Records (EHRs) into place for "meaningful use" is making use of all the data collected ("Big Data Analytics"). This is why two foci of our program are EHR and Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.
Bioinformaticists typically work in a research lab for data analysis and programming, like Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids. They need a strong programming background and bioinformatics students with life science background typically pick that skill up during their graduate coursework within the two years of study (see recommended schedules).
With best wishes,
Guenter Tusch, Ph.D.
Chair, Health Informatics and Bioinformatics PSM Program