Information technology outside health care: what does it matter to us?
Non-health-care uses of information technology (IT) provide important lessons for health care informatics that are often overlooked because of the focus on the ways in which health care is different from other domains. Eight examples of IT use outside health care provide a context in which to examine the content and potential relevance of these lessons. Drawn from personal experience, five books, and two interviews, the examples deal with the role of leadership, academia, the private sector, the government, and individuals working in large organizations. The interviews focus on the need to manage technologic change. The lessons shed light on how to manage complexity, create and deploy standards, empower individuals, and overcome the occasional "wrongness" of conventional wisdom. One conclusion is that any health care informatics self-examination should be outward-looking and focus on the role of health care IT in the larger context of the evolving uses of IT in all domains. (+info
Structural relationships within medical informatics.
This study seeks to increase our understanding of the structure of Medical Informatics. In particular, it focuses on the relationships between information science and information technology on the one hand, and biomedical research, clinical practice, and medical education on the other, that have defined "medical informatics." Using indexing terms and MeSH tree structures assigned to medical informatics literature covered by MEDLINE, co-occurrence analysis provides a "map" of the field. Major research and application focuses arrayed within the map elucidate a finer structure than reported previously. Dimensions "Techniques vs. Systems" and "Signs & Symptoms vs. Processes" form the two axes of the map and relate to the relationships underlying the indexing assignments given to the literature studied. Related studies underway using the INSPEC database will provide a complementary perspective on the structure of medical informatics as a field. (+info
The human genome, implications for oral health and diseases, and dental education.
We are living in an extraordinary time in human history punctuated by the convergence of major scientific and technological progress in the physical, chemical, and biological ways of knowing. Equally extraordinary are the sparkling intellectual developments at the interface between fields of study. One major example of an emerging influence on the future of oral health education is at the interface between the human genome, information technology, and biotechnology with miniaturizations (nanotechnology), suggesting new oral health professional competencies for a new century. A great deal has recently been learned from human and non-human genomics. Genome databases are being "mined" to prompt hypothesis-driven "postgenomic" or functional genomic science in microbial models such as Candida albicans related to oral candidiasis and in human genomics related to biological processes found in craniofacial, oral, and dental diseases and disorders. This growing body of knowledge is already providing the gene content of many oral microbial and human genomes and the knowledge of genetic variants or polymorphisms related to disease, disease progression, and disease response to therapeutics (pharmacogenomics). The knowledge base from human and non-human genomics, functional genomics, biotechnology, and associated information technologies is serving to revolutionize oral health promotion, risk assessment using biomarkers and disease prevention, diagnostics, treatments, and the full range of therapeutics for craniofacial, oral, and dental diseases and disorders. Education, training, and research opportunities are already transforming the curriculum and pedagogy for undergraduate science majors, predoctoral health professional programs, residency and specialty programs, and graduate programs within the health professions. In the words of Bob Dylan, "the times they are a-changing." (+info
The education of informationists, from the perspective of a library and information sciences educator.
This article explores the background of, and some of the current models for the education of, the individuals known as "informationists." A definition, an historical overview, and a literature review are followed by a description of the current practices in a variety of institutions and organizations. A series of five "case reports" illustrates some of the possible tracks that individuals seeking education as informationists may follow. A proposal for a rigorous planning process is made, followed by a list of recommendations for this planning process. (+info
JAT's impact factor--room for improvement? Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
The impact factor of a scientific journal is simply the ratio of the number of citations to the number of citable items (articles and reviews) over a given time period, usually two years after the year of publication. Trends in the impact factor of Journal of Analytical Toxicology (JAT) are reviewed and compared with other leading journals in the forensic sciences and toxicology. In particular, the journals that frequently cite JAT articles (citing journals) and the journals cited in articles published in JAT (cited journals) are compared and contrasted. The reasons for citing a particular article are considered, and some suggestions are made for improving the impact factor of JAT, if this is deemed necessary. This could be achieved in a number of ways, such as speeding the editorial-handling and peer-review processes, by including one or more invited review articles in each issue of the journal, or by increasing the number of references cited so the references/article ratio increases. Regardless of journal impact factor, an article should be judged by its usefulness to the field and not the prestige of the journal where it is published. (+info
Gene expression analysis reveals chemical-specific profiles.
The articles highlighted in this issue are "Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Chemical-Specific Profiles" by Hisham K. Hamadeh, Pierre R. Bushel, Supriya Jayadev, Karla Martin, Olimpia DiSorbo, Stella Sieber, Lee Bennett, Raymond Tennant, Raymond Stoll, J. Carl Barrett, Kerry Blanchard, Richard S. Paules, and Cynthia A. Afshari (pp. 219-231) and "Prediction of Compound Signature Using High Density Gene Expression Profiling" by Hisham K. Hamadeh, Pierre R. Bushel, Supriya Jayadev, Olimpia DiSorbo, Leping Li, Raymond Tennant, Raymond Stoll, J. Carl Barrett, Richard S. Paules, Kerry Blanchard, and Cynthia A. Afshari (pp. 232-240). (+info
Mining microarray expression data by literature profiling.
BACKGROUND: The rapidly expanding fields of genomics and proteomics have prompted the development of computational methods for managing, analyzing and visualizing expression data derived from microarray screening. Nevertheless, the lack of efficient techniques for assessing the biological implications of gene-expression data remains an important obstacle in exploiting this information. RESULTS: To address this need, we have developed a mining technique based on the analysis of literature profiles generated by extracting the frequencies of certain terms from thousands of abstracts stored in the Medline literature database. Terms are then filtered on the basis of both repetitive occurrence and co-occurrence among multiple gene entries. Finally, clustering analysis is performed on the retained frequency values, shaping a coherent picture of the functional relationship among large and heterogeneous lists of genes. Such data treatment also provides information on the nature and pertinence of the associations that were formed. CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of patterns of term occurrence in abstracts constitutes a means of exploring the biological significance of large and heterogeneous lists of genes. This approach should contribute to optimizing the exploitation of microarray technologies by providing investigators with an interface between complex expression data and large literature resources. (+info
Medical informatics as a market for IS/IT.
Medical informatics is "the application of information science and information technology to the theoretical and practical problems of biomedical research, clinical practice, and medical education." A key difference between the two streams lies in their perspectives of "What Is Important in MI to Me?" MI may be seen as the marketplace where biomedicine consumes products and services provided by information science and information technology. (+info