About biomedical informatics
The first use of the term "medical informatics" is traced back to France in the 1960s ("Informatique Medicale"), with university departments around this discipline being created across Europe. In the subsequent decade, dedicated medical informatics research units were formed in the United States. Since that time, fostering medical informatics research and education has been an enduring objective of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with the creation of funded training programs starting in the mid-80s. Today, biomedical informatics sits at the intersection of engineering, data sciences, and medicine. Broadly, informatics is concerned with the acquisition, representation, storage, retrieval, analysis, visualization, and utilization of information. Biomedical informatics is the development and application of these techniques specifically to support biomedical research and clinical practice. Topics include (but are not limited to) medical knowledge representation, information extraction and structuring, information architectures, data mining/machine learning, disease modeling, and data visulization. Current NIH efforts such as the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative and Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) recognize the importance of this growing discipline, particularly in realizing precision medicine.