It has really been a common question of my friends and colleagues to me why informatics is necessary in healthcare, and how does this very alien language to most clinicians would matter in the practice of medicine.
Technology and it’s great wonders truly has played a huge role in the lives of people, making almost everything reachable with just one touch anywhere, and anytime. Imagine how much people there are in this planet, with different timelines, culture, beliefs, and language – separated by these different barriers, but connected in one common universal language – which is the use of technology, because almost everyone is using technology. With the current number of 7.1 billion people in the world, interestingly that almost 6.8 billion people has access to a mobile phone, which is almost 96% of the population around the globe (Quartz, 2014). And utilising or taking advantage of these amazing technology in the field of healthcare, to possibly reach these people, can play a huge involvement and make a great impact in raising awareness, and promoting health.
Taking Philippines as a good example of this immense dependence with the use of technology, Philippines has 110% penetration rate of use of mobile phones, and 89% of Filipinos actually own or use mobile phones (philstar.com, 2013). How else in other countries that are not considered third-world, and have more advanced technology than us?
This is how Health Informatics breaks in the scene, and takes the spotlight. In this modern times, data is as free and available as the air we breathe in. The dilemma here is how we are going to utilise these data, and and who will transform them into relevant, useful, and credible information in the field of healthcare. Health Informatics gives the discipline and science to how these information can be shared for global health use by healthcare professionals, as global health put emphasis on improving health in general with fairness among different population around the globe. And the transformation of these relevant information, can be coined as eHealth, since the information collected has been enhanced and possibly delivered with the aid of vastly growing technology – giving and leaving a tremendous impact on the advancement of delivery and efficiency of health care services to a greater population, even those areas given least attention and access of available healthcare. Albeit the discussion of security issues of Health Informatics playing a big role in global health, this is incalculably outweighed by the benefits of accuracy and timeliness of data and services, as errors are easier to track and avoid with aid of technology. Perhaps, this is something that is still a work in progress in the field of Health Informatics, for it to completely penetrate all healthcare services around the globe.
This is why Health Informatics is necessary in the field of healthcare, because the world is evolving and changing – and for everything to stay relevant, we embrace change with technology in our hands.
- Jeffrey P Koplan, et al (2009) Towards a common defi nition of global health. Lancet 2009