Like many people, I found myself caught up this past week testing out ChatGPT, the new automated chat agent released by OpenAI. It seems like many people across the Internet are using it to test out its functioning in the kind of work they do, whether they are writers, programmers, or my fellow informatics researchers.
Naturally, I tested ChatGPT doing what I enjoy most, namely teaching. My first test was to enter the learning objectives for my well-known introductory biomedical and health informatics course, aka, 10x10 ("ten by ten"). Being the academic that I am, I was also curious what ChatGPT might report for my contributions to the informatics field. The transcript of my interaction is provided below, but first some commentary.
ChatGPT did a much better job with my learning objectives than its report of my accomplishments in informatics. In fact, it got quite a bit wrong about my own work. For example, it reported me as Editor of Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) and Journal of Medical Internet Research ( JMIR), something my colleagues Sue Bakken and Gunther Eysenbach might dispute. It also gave erroneous information about books that I "authored." While I have edited and authored my textbook Health Informatics: Practical Guide, authored my textbook on information retrieval, and contributed chapters to many other books, I have no involvement whatsoever in the books listed by ChatGPT, Introduction to Health Informatics or Essentials of Health Information Systems and Technology. ChatGPT also listed first among my accomplishments in the field, "work on the development and implementation of EHRs." While I teach a great deal about the electronic health records (EHRs), it would be a stretch to say I am involved in their development and implementation. Clearly ChapGPT is an inferior alternative to Googling oneself.
For the learning objectives, ChatGPT did a little better, and gave reasonable, if incomplete, discussions on the topics in each. It still got some facts wrong, and also omitted what I might consider important details one might want to see in a succinct summary. Perhaps more importantly, ChatGPT provided no citations for what it said, which could allow a learner to check the interpretation or pursue more detail about the topic. I suppose the good news is that one still would do better to get more exhaustive text, figures, and citations covered in the 10x10 course (samples of which can be viewed at my site, informatics.health).
These are obviously early days for tools such as ChatGPT, and no doubt they will improve over time. But just as machine learning algorithms are not quite ready to replace human clinicians, they also are not quite ready to overtake other human tasks, such as teaching, at least not yet.
ChatGPT Transcript - December 10, 2022 (my text entry in italics)
Define biomedical and health informatics, the terms related to it, and its role in health, healthcare, public health, and biomedical research
Biomedical and health informatics is a field that focuses on the use of technology and information to improve the delivery of healthcare, public health, and biomedical research. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science, data science, and healthcare to develop and use information systems and technology to manage, analyze, and interpret health-related data.
Some of the terms related to this field include electronic health records (EHRs), health information technology (HIT), health information management (HIM), and health informatics. These terms all refer to different aspects of using information and technology in the healthcare and public health sectors.
The role of biomedical and health informatics in healthcare is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery by using technology and information systems to manage and analyze health-related data. This can include the use of EHRs to manage patient records, the use of HIT to monitor and manage the health of patients remotely, and the use of HIM to ensure the quality and security of health information.
In public health, biomedical and health informatics can be used to monitor and analyze population-level health data to identify trends and patterns, and to develop interventions and policies to improve the health of the population.
In biomedical research, this field can be used to manage and analyze large amounts of data from clinical trials, genetic studies, and other research to advance our understanding of health and disease.
Overall, the goal of biomedical and health informatics is to use technology and information to improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of healthcare, public health, and biomedical research.
Describe the major historical events of biomedical and health informatics
The field of biomedical and health informatics has a long and rich history, with many important events that have shaped its development. Some of the major historical events in this field include:
- The development of electronic medical records (EMRs) in the 1950s, which marked the beginning of the use of computers in healthcare to store and manage patient information.
- The establishment of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the United States in 1956, which became a major repository for health-related information and a driving force in the development of health informatics.
- The creation of the first Health Information Management (HIM) program at the University of Minnesota in 1967, which marked the beginning of formal education and training in health informatics.
- The development of the first clinical decision support system (CDSS) in the 1970s, which used computers to assist doctors in making diagnostic and treatment decisions.
- The introduction of the first personal health record (PHR) in the 1980s, which allowed patients to manage their own health information and access it from any location.
- The widespread adoption of the internet in the 1990s, which facilitated the sharing and dissemination of health-related information and the development of online health communities.
- The passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996, which established national standards for the privacy and security of health information.
- The growth of mobile health (mHealth) technologies in the 2000s, which enabled the use of smartphones and other devices to monitor and manage health-related information.
Overall, these and other historical events have played a significant role in the development and evolution of biomedical and health informatics as a field, and have had a profound impact on the way healthcare is delivered and research is conducted.
Discuss the major problems in healthcare motivating use of biomedical and health informatics
There are many challenges and problems facing the healthcare industry today that are motivating the use of biomedical and health informatics. Some of the major problems in healthcare that are driving the use of this field include:
- The increasing cost of healthcare: Healthcare costs are rising rapidly, and many people are struggling to afford the care they need. Biomedical and health informatics can help to reduce these costs by using technology and data analysis to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery.
- The growing burden of chronic diseases: Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are becoming more prevalent and are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Biomedical and health informatics can be used to monitor and manage these conditions, and to identify and intervene early to prevent their progression.
- The shortage of healthcare workers: There is a shortage of healthcare workers in many parts of the world, which is putting a strain on the healthcare system and making it difficult for people to access care. Biomedical and health informatics can help to alleviate this shortage by enabling healthcare workers to work more efficiently and by supporting remote care delivery.
- The need for better population health management: Many public health challenges, such as obesity, substance abuse, and infectious diseases, require a population-level approach to prevention and management. Biomedical and health informatics can be used to monitor and analyze population-level health data, and to develop and implement interventions to improve the health of the population.
- The need for better data management and analysis: The healthcare industry generates vast amounts of data, but much of it is unstructured and difficult to manage and analyze. Biomedical and health informatics can help to organize and analyze this data to extract valuable insights and inform decision-making.
Overall, the major problems in healthcare are driving the use of biomedical and health informatics to improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of healthcare and to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the healthcare industry.
Compare and contrast the roles of various individuals in the health information technology workforce
The health information technology (HIT) workforce includes a wide range of individuals with different roles and responsibilities. Some of the major roles in the HIT workforce include:
- Health information managers (HIMs): HIMs are responsible for the management and analysis of health-related data, including the design and implementation of health information systems and the development and maintenance of electronic health records (EHRs).
- Health information technologists (HITs): HITs are responsible for the technical aspects of health information systems, including the design, development, and maintenance of software and hardware systems used in healthcare.
- Clinical informaticists: Clinical informaticists are healthcare professionals with expertise in both medicine and health informatics. They use their knowledge of both fields to improve the quality and safety of care delivery, and to support the use of health information technology in clinical settings.
- Health information exchange (HIE) coordinators: HIE coordinators are responsible for facilitating the exchange of health-related information between different healthcare organizations and systems. This includes ensuring the interoperability of different systems, and the security and privacy of health information.
- Chief information officers (CIOs): CIOs are responsible for the overall management of information technology in healthcare organizations, including the development and implementation of information technology strategies and the supervision of IT staff.
Overall, the roles in the HIT workforce are diverse and varied, and individuals in these roles work together to support the use of health information technology in healthcare and public health.
Find and access the major sources of information for biomedical and health informatics in the scientific literature and on the World Wide Web
There are many sources of information for biomedical and health informatics in the scientific literature and on the World Wide Web. Some of the major sources of information for this field include:
- PubMed: PubMed is a free database of biomedical literature maintained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. It contains millions of abstracts and full-text articles from scientific journals, and is a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners in biomedical and health informatics.
- IEEE Xplore Digital Library: The IEEE Xplore Digital Library is a comprehensive collection of technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science, and related fields. It contains many articles and conference proceedings on topics related to biomedical and health informatics, and is a valuable source of information for researchers in this field.
- Health Information and Libraries Journal: The Health Information and Libraries Journal (HILJ) is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Health Libraries Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of topics related to health information and health informatics, and is a valuable source of information for librarians and other professionals working in this field.
- Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA): JAMIA is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). It covers a wide range of topics related to health informatics, including the use of technology and information to improve the delivery of healthcare and public health.
- Health IT Buzz: Health IT Buzz is a blog maintained by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the United States. It provides news and updates on health information technology and health informatics, and is a valuable source of information for those interested in this field.
Overall, these and other sources of information are valuable for researchers and practitioners in biomedical and health informatics, and provide a wealth of information on the latest developments and trends in this field.
What are the contributions of William Hersh to informatics?
William Hersh is a well-known figure in the field of informatics. He is a professor and the chair of the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.
Some of Hersh's notable contributions to the field of informatics include his work on the development and implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), the use of natural language processing for clinical text analysis, and the integration of clinical research data with EHRs. He has also contributed to the development of informatics curricula and has written extensively on the subject.
Hersh is the author of several books on informatics, including "Introduction to Health Informatics" and "Essentials of Health Information Systems and Technology". He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Overall, Hersh has made many important contributions to the field of informatics, including his work on the development and implementation of EHRs, the use of natural language processing for clinical text analysis, and the integration of clinical research data with EHRs.