About us

In Australia, Health Informatics has been defined as "the body of knowledge that concerns the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information in, about and for human health, and the design and management of related information systems to advance the understanding and practice of healthcare"

Informatics

Informatics is the science of information. The general goal of informatics is to develop methods and systems to collect, store, access, retrieve, integrate, analyse, visualise and use data, information, and knowledge.

Biomedical informatics is the application of informatics in the biomedical realm, concerned with "the optimal use of information, often aided by the use of technology, to improve individual health, health care, public health, and biomedical research" 2. While the field of biomedical informatics shares the general scope of these interests with some other health care specialties and disciplines, it has developed its own areas of emphasis and approaches that have set it apart from other disciplines and specialties.
As a research and education centre based in Australia, it is essential that we use terminology that is understood in the Australian context, hence the use of the phrase "health informatics".  As our reputation and impact on the international scene has grown, we have adopted terminology suited to the international context, hence the use of the term "biomedical informatics."  These terms form the name of the newly formed "Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre", a branding which encompasses both national and international usage and understanding of health informatics and biomedical informatics.

History

The University of Melbourne has had an extensive history of participation in health informatics research dating back to the 1990s.  Since that time there have been numerous attempts to bring appropriate researchers together from within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, (FMDHS), into a single unit or department.  In 2005 the scope of health and biomedical informatics research activities was recognised as being broader than this one Faculty and an informal network called the Health Informatics Network was formed with the engagement of researchers from the areas of Engineering, Science, Law and Medicine.  This Network operated from 2006 to 2008 during which time it evolved into the Health Informatics Steering Committee.  These foregoing activities crystallised to form the new established University of Melbourne's "Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre".

Location

The University of Melbourne's heart is based in Parkville, where its  main campus has been situated for 160 years. The Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, known as HaBIC, is located at the University of Melbourne's Parkville precinct which is the major hub for health care and biomedical research.

1 Australian Health Informatics Education Council, Strategic Work Plan 2009-2010 and beyond. June 2009. Available at http://www.ahiec.org.au/docs/AHIEC Workplan v2_2 22 June.doc (Last accessed 2 March 2014)

2 Hersh W. A stimulus to define informatics and health information technology. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making (2009), 9:24

Our people

The Centre staff is multidisciplinary with a wide range of research and teaching experience in:

  1. Biomedicine,
  2. eHealth,
  3. Information Systems,
  4. Information and Communication Technologies
  5. Knowledge Management
We work closely with researchers and clinicians from all areas including:
  1. the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences,
  2. the University's Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society
  3. Departments from the Melbourne School of Engineering (Computing and Information Systems, Electrical Engineering, Infrastructure Engineering),
  4. a growing number of academic and industry partners.

Affiliated Members

Professor James Bailey
Department of Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Engineering
Dr Sherah Kurnia
Department of Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Engineering
A/Professor Matt Duckham
Department of Infrastructure Engineering 
Melbourne School of Engineering
Dr Rodrigo MariƱo
Melbourne Dental School
Dr Noel Faux
The Florey Department of Neuroscience
and Mental Health
Professor Abbas Rajabifard
Department of Infrastructure Engineering
Melbourne School of Engineering
A/Professor David Grayden
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Melbourne School of Engineering
Dr Wally Smith
Department of Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Engineering
A/Professor Lynette Joubert
Department of Social Work 
Melbourne School of Health Sciences
Professor Richard Sinnot
Department of Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Engineering
Dr Sylvia KauerDepartment of General Practice 
Melbourne Medical School
Professor Mike South
Department of Paediatrics 
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Dr Neil Killen
Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience
and ITS Research
A/Professor Jodie McVernon
Centre of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
A/Professor Shanton Chang
Department of Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Engineering