9 free online courses for introducing you to Health Informatics

Nowadays, knowledge is available on many channels. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are another option. Most of these courses are available for anyone to access the knowledge and course material for free. But if you want a certification to put in your CV or somewhere else, you usually have to pay some amount of money depends on the platform.

Health Informatics, as a field that is in-demand now, has many universities that offer courses for students. I collect the list of the currently available courses in this blog post. I hope you could find some of them interesting and maybe you consider continue your education in Health Informatics 🙂

1. eHealth – Opportunities and Challenges

hi-moocs-001

Course by: Karolinska Institutet
Platform: edX
Length: 6 weeks
Opening: Coming Soon

The first one that I want to introduce is the course from our university. The course’s main purpose is providing the introductory information about eHealth. The advantage of this course is most of the content are from the same professors as the campus. So you can try the course to see if you like the teaching style or not. But I would have to say that there are much more activities happened in the campus beyond the lectures.

When you enroll in the course, you will find 6 modules, divided into 6 weeks

hi-moocs-002

  • Week 1: Introduction to eHealth
  • Week 2: eHealth for Healthcare Professionals
  • Week 3: eHealth for patients and citizens
  • Week 4: Designing eHealth
  • Week 5: Technical Prerequisites
  • Week 6: eHealth Strategies

You don’t have to take 6 weeks to finish it. I finished the entire course in one day :p

Unfortunately, this course is already ended. Although you still have an access to the course material, I’m not sure you still be able to get a certification. When I did it a year ago, I got this certification.

ki-certificate

I don’t know this certification helps me to be accepted into the university or not, but I think it’s cool to have one. Although the course has ended, I heard that they’re going to open the new batch soon. So, stay tuned guys! And don’t forget to subscribe to the course’s newsletter.

In conclusion:

  1. It provides you an introduction to Health Informatics.
  2. You can determine that you like the teaching style or not.
  3. Keep in mind that there’re much more activities in the campus beyond the lectures.

2. Health Informatics in the Cloud

hi-moocs-003

Course by: Georgia Institute of Technology
Platform: Udacity
Length: 5 weeks
Opening: Anytime

I’m really interested in this course for two reasons. First, I’m a fan of Udacity. I used to study their Front-end Web developer nanodegree and I learned a lot from it. Second, the curriculum is really interesting because it seems to focus on Health Information Exchange (HIE), which is a challenging issue in Health Informatics right now. And here is their curriculum:

  • Lesson 1: The US Healthcare System
  • Lesson 2: Federal Policies & Initiatives
  • Lesson 3: Health Information Exchange
  • Lesson 4: Privacy, Security and Trust
  • Lesson 5A: Data Standards
  • Lesson 5B: Interoperability Standards
  • Lesson 6: Clinical Data Collection and Visualization Challenges
  • Lesson 7: Empowering the Patient
  • Lesson 8: Population Health Management
  • Lesson 9: Data Query in a Federated Environment
  • Lesson 10: Big Data Meets Healthcare

The downside is that they seem to not provide a certification. But it’s not a big problem anyway. The knowledge you’ll gain is more important than a certification.


3. Global Health Informatics to Improve Quality of Care

hi-moocs-004

Course by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Platform: edX
Length: 10 weeks
Opening: February 21, 2017

Another interesting course opening soon is this course from MIT. I’m going to enroll in this course too. You can enroll for free, but if you want a certification, you have to pay $49. This course, however, doesn’t seem to be for a beginner, but I can’t access the curriculum. So, I don’t know the content either. Furthermore, they are more focusing on Public Health Informatics than general Health Informatics concept.


4. Health Care IT: Challenges and Opportunities

hi-moocs-005

Course by: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Platform: Coursera
Length: 5 weeks
Opening: January 30, 2017

This course seems to be another introduction to Health Informatics course. Although it’s just 5 weeks, it requires 10-15 hours a week, which is much more than other courses. The certification process is the same as other Coursera courses. You enroll for free, but you can purchase the certification.

Here is the curriculum:

  • Week 1: Where are we today and how did we get here? The legal and regulatory framework of Health IT
  • Week 2: A Patient’s Perspective to Health IT
  • Week 3: A Patient’s guide to the Doctors’ Secret World of technology
  • Week 4: A Focus on Digital Medicine
  • Week 5:  The rise of the electronic medical record – Beyond EHRs

5. Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics

hi-moocs-006

Course by: University of Minnesota
Platform: Coursera
Length: 10 weeks
Opening: January 16, 2017

I think this course is also an introductory course. It seems to focus on the interdisciplinary aspect of Health Informatics. And here is the curriculum:

  • Week 1: Introduction
  • Week 2: Data, Information, and Knowledge
  • Week 3: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Components, Evidence-Based Practice
  • Week 4: Quality Improvement/ Workflow Analysis/ Redesign
  • Week 5: Telehealth/ Consumer Health/ Mobile Technology
  • Week 6: Community/ Population Health
  • Week 7: Informatics, Gaming, and Simulation
  • Week 8: Informatics and Ethics
  • Week 9: Data Exchange and Interoperability
  • Week 10: Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge

6. eHealth: More than just an electronic record

hi-moocs-010

Course by: The University of Sydney
Platform: Coursera
Length: 5 weeks
Opening: January 16, 2017

Another seem-to-be introductory course. And here is their curriculum:

  • Week 1: What is eHealth?
  • Week 2: Health in our Hands
  • Week 3: Data and the “Quantified Self”
  • Week 4: Interacting with Health Professionals using New Technologies
  • Week 5: eHealth in Professional Practice

7. Health Informatics on FHIR

hi-moocs-007

Course by: Georgia Institute of Technology
Platform: Coursera
Length: 4 weeks
Opening: January 16, 2017

Another course from Georgia Tech, I’m sure this course is not for a beginner because Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard is quite a not-for-beginner topic. But if you’re interested in learning something more advanced, this course is for you! And the course is just 4 weeks.

Update: I’ve nearly finished this course, it seems like this is an introductory course too. You can understand the content even though you never learn about Health Informatics before.

Curriculum:

  • Week 1: Welcome to Health Informatics on FHIR
  • Week 2: Data and Interoperability Standards
  • Week 3: Real World Applications & Challenges
  • Week 4: Big Data and Analytics

8. eHealth: Combining Psychology, Technology and Health

hi-moocs-008

Course by: University of Twente
Platform: FutureLearn
Length: 6 weeks
Opening: February 6, 2017

This course seems to be an introductory course too. I can’t access the curriculum so I don’t know the detail. For certification, it’s the same as edX and coursera. You enroll for free, but if you want a certification, you have to pay.


9. Geohealth: Improving Public Health through Geographic Information

hi-moocs-009

Course by: University of Twente
Platform: FutureLearn
Length: 4 weeks
Opening: Coming Soon

Another course from University of Twente on FutureLearn, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has many uses in health care, mainly in disease surveillance, which is mostly used in Public Health Informatics. I think this course is about applying the GIS technology in health care. I plan to enroll in this course too.


Health Informatics is a really broad field. There’re a lot of sub-fields within it: Clinical Informatics, Public Health Informatics, Imaging Informatics, Consumer Health Informatics, etc. Most of the online courses available today are an introductory course. I hope there’re more advanced courses in the future.

In my experience, I’ve involved in Health Informatics for many years before I came here. I could say that if you have some knowledge before you come to study, it well help you a lot in the class. So, feel free to use one of the courses I listed above. And good luck for your education!

5 thoughts on “9 free online courses for introducing you to Health Informatics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s