Medical Informatics is nothing but the science and art of processing (bio) medical information (where information is the processed data). The use of computers is inevitable here. The information may be retrieved both on-line (e.g., through Internet) or off-line (e.g., through CD-ROMS, floppies, magnetic tapes, and last but not the least: paper i.e., books and journals). EBM (Evidence Based Medicine) is gradually becoming popular for managing both common and uncommon medical problems. In this age of “Information Explosion” choosing the useful one is rather difficult, and that brings in the scope of data management and research. The usefulness of a database can be assessed only by its proper management (building, indexing and updating). However, still many outstanding personnel related to the healthcare sector take pride in being “computer illiterate”.

Reaching a foolproof diagnosis is never an easy job for a clinician. Often, a simple diagnostic procedure or test is overlooked and the disease eludes diagnosis. Clinical reasoning and decision making are phased. Initially there is a clinical evaluation (history taking and physical examination), followed by precise laboratory investigations. Then integration of clinical findings and test results is done. After that, comparative benefits and risks are weighed among the alternative courses of actions, like drug interactions. Finally, the patient’s preferences are taken into account, along with ethical and other considerations like cost of therapy, compliance expectations and a therapeutic plan is developed. Right from the first step (history taking) to the final one, computers can be of immense help to the clinician. I have the pleasure of developing some diagnostic decision support systems for medical education, research and communication. Nevertheless, for computer-assisted diagnostic systems, a human clinician (“man in the loop” for “Intelligence Amplification”) must be a necessary component. Moreover, the clinician must understand completely the strengths and limitations of them. Computerized diagnostics and clinical acumen are not mutually exclusive; rather they should reinforce each other for the alleviation of psychosomatic suffering of mankind.

However, with sophisticated gadgetry taking the upper hand, the “human touch” should not be overlooked or forgotten. 

Modes of information

         Voice (cf. Shruti & parampara)

         Images (x-rays, slides, ekg, others)

         Simple data (e.g., Blood, urine or csf report for biochemistry, pathology,           microbiology)

         Combination of the above

         Mechanical intervention (e.g., Robotic telesurgery) 

Scopes for medical informatics

         Retrieval of information

     On-line (internet)

     Off-line (cd-rom, etc., Books & journals)

         Information explosion management

         Database management

         Final analysis & inference 

Uses of computers:

Ø      Hardware



         Magnabyte / lcd projector

Ø      Software

          word processing


          transparent sheet

          graph plotting

          figure drawing

          slide show

          interactive tutorials

          Text books / journals on cd-rom 


Scifinder scholar)

§         Monochrome

§          Multi-color

§         E.g., Color laser printout directly on transparency film

§         Scanner

§         Scan any figure or photograph & display or print

§         Cf. Epidiascope, pexiscope & lcd projector




Websites for literature survey:

1.http://www.medportal.com (Medline Search)
2.http://www.doctorspage.net/quotes.asp  (Medical quotations)
3. http://cebm.jr2.ox.ac.uk/docs/searching.html  

(Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford)

Websites of International Institutes
1. http://www.who.org (WHO)
2. http://www.hhmi.org(Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
3. http://www.ibro.org  (International Brain Research Organization)

Websites for Indian Biomedical Organizations
(Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST) an Institute of National Importance under the Government of India)
http://www.nrdcindia.com/ National Research Development Corporation (A Government of India Enterprise)



Websites for Museums
1. http://www.si.edu (The Smithsonian Institute)
2. http://vh.org (Virtual Hospital)
3. http://members.evansville.net/ict/prostheticvalveimagegallery.htm  

Some journals on-line:

Another useful, powerful and fast SEARCH ENGINE is http://www/google.com


Some useful sites for Medical Informatics are: 

1. Duke Clinical Informatics Home Page <http://dmi-www.mc.duke.edu/>

Click here to link to New Duke University Clinical Informatics site
dmi-www.mc.duke.edu/ - 1k

2.  On-line lessons in Clinical Informatics <http://www.informatics-review.com/lessons.html>
The Informatics Review > On-line lessons in Clinical Informatics. Informatics Lessons. ... The Informatics Review > On-line lessons in Clinical Informatics. ...
www.informatics-review.com/lessons.html - 16k

3.  The Informatics Review: An on-line journal focusing on clinical ...<http://www.informatics-review.com/>
...Clinical Computing and Informatics News: A User's Manual For The IOM's 'Quality Chasm' Report Patients' experiences should be the fundamental source of the ...
Description: An on-line journal devoted to the field of clinical informatics and computer-based decision making. www.informatics-review.com/ - 44k - 19 Jun 2024

4.  NIH Guide: CLINICAL INFORMATICS TO PROMOTE PATIENT SAFETY <http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HS-01-006.html>
CLINICAL INFORMATICS TO PROMOTE PATIENT SAFETY Release Date: February 22,2024 RFA: RFA-HS-01-006 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly AHCPR ...
grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/ RFA-HS-01-006.html - 57k

5.  Center for Clinical Informatics <http://www.clinical-informatics.com/>
... The Center for Clinical Informatics provides tools to mental health professionals to demonstrate the value of their services while enhancing treatment outcomes...www.clinical-informatics.com/ - 7k

6.  Applied Medical Informatics <http://www.med.umich.edu/ami/aci/>
... ACI(Applied Clinical Informatics); Healthcare Technology Standards;
Patient Care Information System (PCIS); TeleMedicine; Video Services.
www.med.umich.edu/ami/aci/ - 2k

7.  Office of Clinical Informatics <http://www.mcw.edu/oci/>
Medical College of Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin Office of
Clinical Informatics. Rick D. Gillis, MD Director. Gary P. Barnas ...
www.mcw.edu/oci/ - 3k

8.  Calgary Health Region Clinical Informatics Unit Home Page <http://www.crha-health.ab.ca/supp/ciu/>
... Welcome to the Clinical Informatics Unit Web Pages. ... To educate Region staff and physicians on the role of clinical informatics in their service delivery....www.crha-health.ab.ca/supp/ciu/ - 17k

9. Eskind Biomedical Library: Clinical Informatics Consult Service <http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/biolib/services/cics.html>
... Clinical Informatics Consult Service. ... Information needs of clinical teams: analysis
of questions received by the Clinical Informatics Consult Service. ...
www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/biolib/services/cics.html - 23k - 19 Jun 2024

10. Main Informatics Page <http://hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/informatics/>

... The Division of Clinical Informatics is involved in clinical investigations and
management studies with the other divisions of DHES and other units of the ...
hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/informatics/ - 8k

11. Medical Informatics Unit Home Page <http://www.medinfo.cam.ac.uk/>

... exchange of clinical knowledge (eg WAX ) are a growing area of the Unit's research,
resulting recently in the creation of the Centre for Clinical Informatics. ...
www.medinfo.cam.ac.uk/ - 8k

12. Centre for Clinical Informatics <http://www.medinfo.cam.ac.uk/cci/default.asp>

Centre for Clinical Informatics (CCI). The Centre for Clinical Informatics
supports research into, and development of, information ...
www.medinfo.cam.ac.uk/cci/default.asp - 6k

13.Emergency Medicine at NCEMI: emergency medicine and primary care ...  <http://www.ncemi.org/>

... Emergency Medicine Informatics Library Computerize your emergency department ... Specific
epidemiological, clinical, and microbiological findings should lead to ...
Description: Collection of medical resources for emergency medicine, primary care, and acute care. Medical search...  www.ncemi.org/ - 101k

14. Research Informatics 2000: Optimizing and Integrating Informatics ...  <http://www.healthtech.com/conference/00dmn/>

... e-Research Informatics Scaling up into the Future Integrating Drug Discovery and
Evaluation Information Clinical Informatics: From Academia to the Field ...
www.healthtech.com/conference/00dmn/ - 33k


15.   MJA: Coiera, 10 essential clinical informatics skills     <http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/apr6/coiera/coierbox.html>

Ten essential clinical informatics skills. Understand the dynamic
and uncertain nature of medical knowledge, and be able to keep ...
www.mja.com.au/public/issues/apr6/coiera/coierbox.html - 5