Health informatics: A new megatrend

The IT side of health care will be transformative over the next decade.
Written by Denise Amrich, Contributor on

I get a lot of email. Much of the mail I get is from publicists wanting to promote their latest web services businesses or health-related apps. I try to pay attention to these, but there are just so many food-tracker apps one blog can spotlight (hint: Maybe one).

On the other hand, there's another category of email I get that I care deeply about: Those looking to expand their careers into health and technology. Heath-related IT is a growing field, but it's not something you can just read a book on and get a gig. In many cases, you need to develop strong skills in both the health-related fields and in technology. Plus, in health, you often need to get licensed in some way.

While many of you may need to develop health-related skills and experience, most of you have exceptionally strong IT credentials. And it's really the IT side of things that's going to be transforming health care over the next decade. In fact, David Lee, an investor at Silicon Valley investment firm SV Angel, has said that health informatics is the next "megatrend".

Some of you have also asked me just what health informatics is. Where does it fit in the spectrum of big data, analytics, stats, and general IT? For the answer to that, I'll point you to a helpful video from the UK's National Health Service. There are some differences in concepts here in the US, but the overall IT component remains the same the world over.

Keep those cards and letters (OK, emails and tweets) coming. I can't promise to answer them all, but I do try to read each one, and keep them in mind for future article topics.

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