Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Public Health Informatics

As this is the beginning of the academic year, I get to meet our new Master’s students to chat to them about their module choices this year. This is part of my role as co-ordinator of a public health informatics module. Students can study the module as a CPD opportunity or as part of one of our Master’s programmes.
Informatics brings together two underlying disciplines: computer science and information science. Public health informatics is about applying an informatics solution to public health problems. It offers additional approaches to disease surveillance and facilitates service planning and public health research.  In the module we take an overview approach and look at various case studies on how informatics can be applied, such as in health promotion activities or in a disaster response situation. We also focus on how to evaluate an information system by identifying and applying an evaluation framework.  
Last year we created a new session on ethics in public health informatics looking at ethical theories and how they are enacted in practice. Ethics should be a live issue, and we considered the limitations and usefulness of ethical codes by discussing key papers in a journal club format.

So I’m looking forward to working with our new students and the fabulous public health informatics team for the new academic year. For more information on the module which we provide in an online and on-campus format please see the relevant module pages or contact me at h.b.woods@sheffield.ac.uk 

Picture credit: activity tracker by Zed Huang via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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