Biomedical Informatics

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What is the profession?

Biomedical Informatics is the area that deals with the development and research in computer systems related to applications in biosciences. From a hybrid form in Computer Science and Biomedicine, the professional in medical informatics develops software that optimizes the work in hospitals, medical clinics, health centers, laboratories and research centers.

The professional can manage computerization projects from medical centers, develop and implement digital systems for transmitting and storing of radiological images and work in the bioinformatics area, developing specific software to assist in biotechnology studies.

The Biomedical Informatics aims to train professionals that meet the market demand related to computerization of biosciences area, corresponding to a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from the active participation in medical and biological research as well as in activities in different companies such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical equipment, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and in various sectors of management and implementation of public health policies.

The professional

The professional fulfills a set of relevant needs, concerning the production of computerized systems involving a high level of complexity applied to the optimization of protocols and processes that characterize the peculiarities of research environments and the application of biomedical sciences.

This professional should demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge in the areas of computing and biosciences to operate in the development of computer systems of quality, being able to interact with professionals in the medical and biological areas and participate in work teams that require these multidisciplinary requirements.

Work Fields

The growing process of computerization from public and private centers facing healthcare have generated an important opening for the role of this professional in the market and in the academic career.

The professional can work on centers for the development of internal computer systems to hospitals, medical centers, clinics, government agencies (such as health departments), research centers related to bioscience and private companies whose target market is the development of information systems in health. Its performance includes activities such as analysis, implementation and management of software development teams.

The course of Biomedical Informatics at FMRP and FFCLRP

The undergraduate degree in Medical Informatics, implemented from the first half of 2003, under the joint responsibility of FFCLRP and FMRP, represents a concrete product of the collaboration between the areas of exact sciences and biological sciences.

This is an innovative course, in the sense that it is the first proposal in the country. Before its establishment, the demand for research institutions and the labor market in relation to the development of technologies in informatics applied to biosciences was fulfilled by professionals with basic training in computer or medical sciences, adjusted with additional skills.

The Biomedical Informatics professional should present the following general skills:

  • Identify problems, analyze, design and implement technologically viable solutions in computer applied to health and biology, according to the standards of professional ethics and national and international standards.
  • Develop a suitable relationship with members of multidisciplinary teams, communicating clearly, in order to establish a dialogue between the biological areas and the computer area, as well as understanding the problems presented by the professionals of the medical area. In addition, the professional should have the following specific technical skills:
  • Understand concepts and processes of Biosciences and Computer Science to develop applications of information technologies and computational tools for analysis and support to decision within the systems and processes in biosciences.
  • Diagnose problems and needs of health professionals to propose solutions that meet the computational problems involving biomedical databases, computer networks, projects and analysis of algorithms, software engineering, artificial intelligence and signal and images processing.
  • Work together in the organization and improvement of the health care through information technology resources and communication at different levels of care.
  • Mastering different languages and paradigms of computer programming. Planning, organize and manage the development and implementation of information systems computing.

The competencies and skills for the training of the professional are focused on three main areas:

  1. Bioinformatics: presenting solutions to biological problems involving concomitant use of large volumes of data (such as object and outcome of research in genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, gene identification, gene network analysis, polymorphisms identification, among other areas), structural analysis (molecular modeling) and biological models;
  2. Signal and Image Processing: Developing applications facing support of the medical decision using techniques that implement procurement, optimization, treatment and analysis of medical images and signs containing anatomical or functional information, such as radiology, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and cardiac and brain electrical activity;
  3. Information Systems and Health Management: developing applications related to the organization, management and representation of clinical data (clinical computing), hospital information services, applications to epidemiology and population health, process of clinical decision-making and flow of medical information.