Big Data: Are Biomedical and Health Informatics Training Programs Ready? Contribution of the IMIA Working Group for Health and Medical Informatics Education

P. Otero, William (Bill) Hersh, A. U. Jai Ganesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The growing volume and diversity of health and biomedical data indicate that the era of Big Data has arrived for healthcare. This has many implications for informatics, not only in terms of implementing and evaluating information systems, but also for the work and training of informatics researchers and professionals. This article addresses the question: What do biomedical and health informaticians working in analytics and Big Data need to know?

METHODS: We hypothesize a set of skills that we hope will be discussed among academic and other informaticians.

RESULTS: The set of skills includes: Programming - especially with data-oriented tools, such as SQL and statistical programming languages; Statistics - working knowledge to apply tools and techniques; Domain knowledge - depending on one's area of work, bioscience or health care; and Communication - being able to understand needs of people and organizations, and articulate results back to them.

CONCLUSION: Biomedical and health informatics educational programs must introduce concepts of analytics, Big Data, and the underlying skills to use and apply them into their curricula. The development of new coursework should focus on those who will become experts, with training aiming to provide skills in "deep analytical talent" as well as those who need knowledge to support such individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalYearbook of medical informatics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Data interpretation
  • databases as topic
  • education
  • individualized medicine
  • medical informatics
  • patient participation
  • statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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