Biomedical Informatics Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine 5th Edition by Edward H. Shortliffe, and James J. Cimino
Preface to the Fifth Edition
The world of biomedical research and health care has changed remarkably in the 30 years since the frst edition of this book was published.
So too has the world of computing and communications and thus the underlying scientifc issues that sit at the intersections among biomedical science, patient care, public health, and information technology.
It is no longer necessary to argue that it has become impossible to practice modern medicine, or to conduct modern biological research, without information technologies. Since the initiation of the Human Genome Project three decades ago, life scientists have been generating data at a rate that defes traditional methods for information management and data analysis.
Health professionals also are constantly reminded that a large percentage of their activities relates to information management—for example, obtaining and recording information about patients, consulting colleagues, reading and assessing the scientifc literature, planning diagnostic procedures, devising strategies for patient care, interpreting results of laboratory and radiologic studies, or conducting case-based and population-based research.
Artifcial intelligence, “big data,” and data science are having unprecedented impact on the world, with the biomedical feld a particularly active and visible component of such activity.
It is complexity and uncertainty, plus society’s overriding concern for patient well-being, and the resulting need for optimal decision making, that set medicine and health apart from many other informationintensive felds.
Our desire to provide the best possible health and health care for our society gives a special signifcance to the effective organization and management of the huge bodies of data with which health professionals and biomedical researchers must deal.
It also suggests the need for specialized approaches and for skilled scientists who are knowledgeable about human biology, clinical care, information technologies, and the scientifc issues that drive the effective use of such technologies in the biomedical context.