What in the world is Health Informatics?

How many of you have asked yourself that question? What are some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to Health Informatics (HI)?  What educational background is required to study HI at KI? How does Sweden fit into the bigger picture?

The above-mentioned questions are just some of those that popped into my mind a year ago as I began considering applying for the HI programme at KI. With this year’s application round for KI’s Global Master’s programmes now officially opened, I’ve decided to share some of the answers to my last year’s doubts.

What is (not) Health Informatics?

Health Informatics is a science that can be best described as an intersection of information science, computer science and healthcare. It aims to improve healthcare through optimisation of the acquisition and use of information in various aspects of clinical care, as well as nursing, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, and (bio)medical research.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions regarding HI:
  • HI professionals do computer maintenance at healthcare facilities
  • The development of HI will inevitably lead to mass lay-offs within healthcare
  • In the future computers will make treatment decisions instead of physicians

What educational background is required to study Health Informatics at KI?

Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree of at least 180 credits within the fields of healthcare or ICT, as well as proficiency in English are eligible to apply. To find more information regarding the admissions and eligibility, click on this link.  I will go into more detail about the way my class is structured in one of the following posts.

Do I have to be a computer whiz if I come from a medical background?

While having some elementary knowledge in information and computer sciences would definitely come in useful, it is not required / expected from students with a medical background. The programme is conceptualized in a way that fits even those with very little or no technical skills (such as myself). However, the thing you do need is the readiness to immerse yourself into something completely new.

 

stoom-afblazen

 

If you are anything like me, you might feel a bit intimidated by this, but worry not for you will be provided with the necessary knowledge during the SUPCOM course (Supplementary course in Computer and Systems Sciences) which takes place in the very beginning of the first semester!

Why should you choose to study Health Informatics in Sweden?

While I’m sure most of you are familiar with names like Skype, Spotify, Candy Crush and Minecraft, you might not be aware that what they all share are Swedish developers. That’s right, Sweden has discovered the formula to success when it comes to startups!
The startup scene in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, is booming so much so that saying it’s springing like mushrooms after the rain doesn’t feel exaggerated. This being particularly true of  Kista Science City that is often refered to as the “Silicon Valley of the North”.
Kista Science City is said to be one of the largest high-tech clusters in the world, ranking third right after the Silicon Valley in California and Bangalore in India.
 
nod_kista
NOD Kista By Per Olofsson [CC0]

The word of Sweden being a tech haven has even reached Facebook, which decided to build its first data center outside the US in a town in northern Sweden called Luleå.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post. Please feel free to post comments and / or questions in the comment section bellow or contact me via e-mail and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Nikola Mastilović

Digital Ambassador

 

Contact me via:

Instagram: nomad_dentist

LinkedIn: Nikola Mastilovic

e-mail: nikola.mastilovic@stud.ki.se

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