Health Informatics Program Combines Healthcare and Computers

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    Dec 25, 2012
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Did you know that all you need to apply to the Health Informatics program at Centennial College (officially known as Health Informatics Technology) is an interest in computer sciences and healthcare; at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older; compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent; and Math 11M or U, or 12C or U, or skills assessment, or equivalent?

"I decided to take this Health Informatics program because right now I am a personal support worker and I wanted to stay in the healthcare field and make a difference," says a student enrolled in the program. "I found that this, as an emerging field, was one where I could do all that." Students like this are exactly the types of people who will excel in the offering, according to Sity Safario, an instructor. "I recommend the Health Informatics program at Centennial College for anyone who is very much interested in software engineering but also wants to help people," she says.

The Health Informatics program trains its students for an industry that deals with information, computer science and health care. It is concerned with the resources, devices and methods that optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine.

As such, during their three years worth of Health Informatics courses students focus on object-oriented software design methodologies, user-oriented interface design, structure of healthcare information systems, telehealth, data security and privacy in healthcare systems. They also learn about technologies such as C#, Java, J2EE, Oracle, MS-SQL Server, Unix/ Linux, Microsoft's .NET, HTML/ XML, Rational/ WebSphere, Data warehousing and Data mining, and BI tools in healthcare systems and more. To complement theoretical learning, the offering includes two software development projects in the field of health informatics. These real world business applications require students to utilize all the technical, systems and business skills gained during their studies.

Among the specific health informatics courses included in this offering are: Network Technologies (theory classes cover all the fundamental information behind LANs, WANs and their technologies; lab classes introduce students to the hands on techniques to install, configure and troubleshoot a physical network environment); Telehealth (students explore the different types of telehealth applications as well as the legal and regulatory considerations involved in implementing a telehealth solution. Topics covered include an introduction to the different services targeted by telehealth initiatives and emphasis is placed on the unique challenges, relevant industry standards and the specific information technology needs of different telehealth programs to date); Software Testing and Quality Assurance (students are taught testing methodologies and inspection approaches integrated into the software development life cycle); and more.
Graduates of Health Informatics Technology go on to work as: applications developers, health data analysts, database developers, systems implementation specialists, record assistants and business/systems analysts. These professionals are able to analyze and model data, develop healthcare databases and apply different computer medical-imaging techniques. They are also able to use tools, algorithms and health informatics methods for hospitals, schools, healthcare agencies and public health departments.

Author's Profile

Jason is the author of this article about the features of the Health Informatics program, which includes Health Informatics courses such as Network Technologies and Telehealth.

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