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Reflections on an arranged marriage between bioinformatics and health informatics

Reflections on an arranged marriage between bioinformatics and health informatics

Methods of Information in Medicine 42(2): 116-120

To compare the discussions of two workshops held during 2001 by two Canadian organisations, HEALNet, a Network of Centres of Excellence for research in health information applications, and Genome Canada, a national research funding agency for genomics and proteomics, in collaboration with the Institute of Genetics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to examine strategic research development in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics respectively. Invited workshops with structured debate. Concept analysis of preparative material and debates. A predominantly common set of concepts was discerned from both workshops. Analysis of published definitions showed an inability to distinguish a definition that would suggest that health informatics and bioinformatics are separate disciplines. In both workshops there was evidence of deep concerns of identity, the lack of clear structures to support research funding as well as uncertainty in distinguishing between service and research. Many deep issues currently inhibit the recognition and funding of research in health and bioinformatics in Canada and elsewhere. Some of these issues are common to both health and bioinformatics. The overlap in prevailing definitions, research concerns and methodological content in the respective domains suggest that common research needs should be better identified and reinforced for the benefit of both.

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Accession: 050144305

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PMID: 12743646

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