Intended for healthcare professionals


Health informatics: a required skill for 21st century clinicians

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 12 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3043
  1. Douglas B Fridsma, president
  1. American Medical Informatics Association, Bethesda, MD, USA
  1. fridsma{at}

Literacy in informatics should be a formal requirement of all medical education

The world is estimated to produce more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day (a quintillion is 1 followed by 18 zeros), and, by 2025, the total number of genomic data will likely surpass that for astronomy, YouTube, and Twitter combined.1

With the increase in health data, health professionals also have new kinds of technology to collect, analyse, and use that information. They have electronic health records to document care, clinical data warehouses to organise data around diseases or quality indicators, population health analytics to identify predictive characteristics for populations at risk of disease, and new technologies that use machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Information technology has changed the way that healthcare professionals practice. And, while many health professionals see the potential that these changes can bring to improving the quality and cost …

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