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Implementation of Medical Informatics in Medical Colleges

Implementation of Medical Informatics in Medical Colleges

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Published by doctorrao
Implementation of Medical Informatics in Medical Colleges
Implementation of Medical Informatics in Medical Colleges

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Published by: doctorrao on Mar 22, 2013
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TV Rao
Opinion
-
Implementation of Medical Informatics in Medical Colleges
OPINION
Implementation of Medical Informatics inMedical Colleges
TV Rao
, MD
Department of MicrobiologyTravancore Medical College, Kollam, KeralaEmail: drtvrao@gmail.comMedical informaticsis the main constituentof biomedical informatics, the field thatdeals with the cognitive, information -processing and communication tasks ofmedical practice, education, and research, as well as the information science andtechnology employed to support these tasks.It is intrinsically an interdisciplinary field, with a high focus on application, but it alsoaddresses a number of fundamental researchproblems besides planning and policy issues. Academic units of medical informatics areincreasingly being established at severalmedical colleges and institutions; medicalinformatics professionals are being sought toserve on faculties and hospital staffs; andmedical informatics is emerging as a distinctacademic entity.Information and communication technology(ICT) comprises computers, networks,satellite communications, robotics,videotext, cable television, electronic mail(e-mail), and automated office equipment.Developments in ICT have resulted in theincreased application of these technologiesin the practice of medicine and provision ofmedical care. The gap between developedand developing countries is wide in terms ofresources for developing effective tools ofmedical informatics. The health sector isabout 15 years behind other sectors in theapplication of ICT. Computers areincreasingly becoming affordable and easierto use and continue to be the most powerfulinformation-processing tools. The rapidgrowth of the ICT sector needs to beparalleled by the upgrading of the teachingmethodologies in Medicine.Early academic units for ‘medicalor ‘health’informatics tended to focus on theapplication of informatics to clinical practiceand clinical research; subsequently, many well-organized institutions have established
Health Sciences 2012;1(2):JS012
1
 
 An Open Access Peer Reviewed E-Journal
 
TV Rao
Opinion
-
Implementation of Medical Informatics in Medical Colleges
separate academic units devoted tobioinformatics and clinical informatics.ICT, mainly the computer, is increasinglybeing used in medical education. However,there are still some concerns regarding themethods of employing ICT in educationand ensuring equitable access to teachersand learners. Nevertheless, ICT solves theproblems about space and time for thedelivery of education. Electronic learning (e-learning) has advanced from beingrepresented by textbooks in electronicformat (which are considerably enhanced bythe use of multimedia adjuncts) to a trulyinteractive medium that can meet theeducational needs of students andpostgraduate learners.Students can now communicate, contactteachers, and collect and exchangeinformation anywhere, any time. ICT givesaccess to knowledge, and in principle,students can draw on a global pool ofknowledge.
ICT makes learning and sharingknowledge easier
Students can individually and or in groupsprepare records of notes and presentations(portfolio) for subsequent use and thusregister their progress. Several studies haveshown that empowering students withresources from ICT promotes the followingaspects of education: learning for life,creating awareness regarding learningstrategies, improving personal andprofessional standards, adapting to theglobalized world, accessing knowledgeacross geographical and cultural borders,formulating personal goals for the learningprocess,controlling the personal learningprocess, procuring relevant information,organizing and formulating knowledgeindependently, and acquiring knowledgerather than mere re-production ofinformation.The following are recognized as importantchallenges in the application of ICT tomedical education and should beincorporated and addressed in thecurriculum and training.
The first challenge
Future physicians need to be prepared todeal with the changing behavior of patients, who are now internet-savvy and who maysometimes appear to know more about theirdiseases than the physicians themselves.
The second challenge
This is closely linked to the first challenge; itis to raise awareness among physicians andmedical students about the many benefits ofusing ICT to improve not only the qualityof interventions and healthcare delivery butalso, from a broader perspective, the veryorganization of the health care system.
The third challenge
Health Sciences 2012;1(2):JS012
2
 
 An Open Access Peer Reviewed E-Journal

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