Major challenges faced by the public health system demand informatics solutions — whether to provide essential public health services in the context of demographic change, protect against both biological terrorism and natural infectious disease threats, and tackle lifestyle-related epidemics such as obesity and tobacco use. Public health informatics is a critical component of new models of care designed to promote health, wellness, shared decision-making and consumer engagement.
The Institute of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health organizations have cited the need for training in public health informatics. Career paths for people with these skills include teaching and research within academic and R&D organizations; public health practice at state and local public health agencies or positions in public health institutes, the CDC and other DHHS agencies; or private sector industry, including software vendors.
Our collaboration with the Mailman School of Public Health offers students a solid foundation in utilizing informatics for public health needs.
The field includes:
- Using in-depth computational and statistical analysis to parse epidemiological data sets
- The application of bioinformatics to public health data and challenges
- Studying real-world public health issues and performing complex analysis of multiple factors involved, from genotype and phenotype to population-level information
- Developing tools to aid patients in shared clinical decision-making and engaging with their health data and related research