Data saves lives, say global informatics experts

#Datasaveslives was the focus of Informatics for Health 2017, Manchester.

It was the first time the European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) organised the Medical Informatics Europe 2017 conference along with the Farr Institute International Conference.

With keynote speakers Riccardo Bellazzi, professor of Bioengineering and Biomedical Informatics, University of Pavia, Italy; Susan Michie, professor of health psychology, University College London, UK and Sally Okun, vice president for advocacy, policy and patient safety, PatientsLikeMe, the event was well attended by visitors from across the globe.

Informatics for Health 2017 welcomed an international audience of academics, health professionals and industry partners that shared the knowledge, insights and experience that are fuelling the rapid advancement in informatics research for health science, health care, and economic growth in/around digital health.

The conference programme include global thought leaders presenting alongside innovators in health data science. By blending academic rigour with the latest technological developments Informatics for Health 2017 provided the academic bedrock needed to create a stimulating and challenging international congress.

The scientific programme engaged researchers across this subject’s multidisciplinary reach and was clearly designed to facilitate collaboration and interaction.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice chancellor, University of Manchester, said: “Informatics has a strong tradition within the University of Manchester. This spans four decades with a rapid expansion in recent years following investments in the MRC Health e Research Centre, The Farr Institute, the Connected Health Cities programme and Innovate UK’s Internet of Things demonstrator project, CityVerve. It also plays a key role in the transformation of health and social care in responsibilities to local control. This has created a vibrant collaborative informatics community in Manchester across reserachers, health and social care partners, and digital health.”

James Weatherall, executive director and head, Advanced Analytics Centre (AAC), AstraZeneca, praised the location of the conference and its relevance to ongoing work in health informatics: “Manchester has a stable population and the North of England has a prevalence of chronic conditions. As we record more tests electronically and obtain more rich data, we can understand better how health is changing.”

Weatherall has worked at AstraZeneca since 2007. He heads up the AAC, a department of around 30 clinical and health data scientists looking at advanced statistics, scientific computing, and biomedical and health informatics.

“I would like to see data, analytics and technology driving the future to allow us the ability to get a better view of what medicines are needed and where the gaps are,” he said.










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