“Health Informatics is everything that has to do with collecting information, structuring information, analysing it and visualising it within the area of health and health care."

Professor Sabine Koch works at the Karolinska Institutet as the Programme Director of the Joint Master’s Programme in Health Informatics given by Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of Health Informatics. Read more about the Master's Programme in Health Informatics

“Health Informatics is a fast growing business and the market needs a lot of health Informaticians working within eHealth and digital health in the years to come,” says Sabine.

The professional role you will get after your graduation depends on the background you come with. In interdisciplinary subjects as Health Informatics, you have to have a good base in one subject. You will become a “T-shaped professional”. This means that you have broadness at the top and depth in one of the two areas.

A global programme useful all over the world

This is a global programme and you will learn to understand how health care systems work in Sweden and in different countries around the world. If you come with a technical background you should build upon your technical competence, meaning you would perhaps deepen in some aspects of data science if that’s what you are interested in, but learn how to apply it to the health care field, Sabine continues.

“The Master’s programme in Health Informatics is a lot about learning health informatics as an interdisciplinary subject in a multicultural environment."

Get a broader picture of health care as an application field. Add on and specialise!

  • If you have a clinical background, you should build on your clinical competence and add on what is important to know when you want to implement e-health systems or services. Then you can work either as a clinical informatics expert at companies or as a project manager or, for instance, a chief medical informatics officer at hospitals or health centres.
  • If you have a technical background you can work in IT departments of hospitals, clinics, work in the pharmaceutical industry or at IT software development companies.
  • Irrespectively of your background you can of course start researching or start your own business. As health informatician you are a very thought after “mediator” between the clinical knowledge and the IT developers.

The programme opens up to a variety of places and roles

Alumni students from the programme are working in a variety of places and roles, for instance, as researchers, electronic health records providers, in hospitals or specialised clinics or national agencies. Some are back working in their home countries and some have stayed in Sweden as well. Some of the students went back to where they were working before but now in a new role, elevated by the additional skills they learned in the programme. And other students have even, in their home countries, started to develop similar master programmes.

Master thesis topics

The topics of the master thesis works are very diverse. For instance, some students have been either patients them self or taking care of relatives and used that as a starting point and inspiration for the thesis. One thesis was about how you can use MOOCs for diabetic patients’ education. One tested quantify-self measurement apps and digital measurements tools, to help parents of children with Downs’s syndrome to, for instance, survey weight. We have Data mining theses and some also look into healthcare security. A lot of projects performed by clinical students evaluate eHealth systems, looking into development processes of new technology and how it changes work processes and collaboration.

The MOOC – eHealth – Opportunities and Challenges

This Spring Sabine and her team put together a MOOC and published it on edx.org with 9000 enrolled participants. The MOOC is now open as a self-paced version again and will be available between December 1, 2015 and May 1, 2016.

The MOOC was a very interesting project and students from all over the world, with a lot of different backgrounds, took the MOOC, says Sabine. For instance, one group of co-workers at a hospital took the MOOC together and learned together. It was a very good experience.

The MOOC is a good introduction to Health Informatics

 

 

If you are interested in taking the MOOC, you find it here. https://www.edx.org/course/ehealth-opportunities-challenges-kix-kiehealthx-0

Finding work within the area of eHealth in the future

It’s a bright future in this field also in the future.

This publication by the American organisation Jobs for the future, reports that a lot of health Informaticians are needed in the years to come. http://www.jff.org/sites/default/files/publications/CTW_burning_glass_publication_052912.pdf