Course Descriptions

Core Graduate courses:

BIME 530 Introduction to Biomedical and Health Informatics (3) 
Provides an overview of the field from diverse perspectives. These perspectives are then used to look at some challenges for the field as a whole. The overview includes: a) motivations to engage in BHI, b) biomedical context of BHI, c) evolution of concepts in BHI, d) frameworks for BHI training, and e) cultural and philosophical context of BHI. The challenges explored include: a) driving problems, forces, and politics of importance to BHI, b) successes and failures of BHI, c) making sense of information, d) representing information, and e) standards.

BIME 533 Public Health and Informatics (3)
Public Health and Informatics provides an overview of the evolving field of public health informatics. Basic public health topics will be reviewed including: public health history, structure and functions, public health data, surveillance, epidemiology, environmental health, health communications, and global health informatics. Information systems and tools relevant to key public health areas will be covered.  We learn about community health assessments and will investigate the use of public health data to monitor the health of the community. The course will cover informatics issues of particular importance to public health, such as data and vocabulary standards, syndromic surveillance systems, policy, privacy and security, interoperability, data integration, organizational change, health information exchange, and meaningful use. The course content will be delivered through a combination of didactic lectures, presentations, in class exercises, and discussions. Students will gain experience in investigating and evaluating informatics solutions to public health problems.                                            

BIME 534 Biology and Informatics (3)
A computing and information oriented treatment of the core concepts of human biology, addressing computational and information science across different levels or organization from molecules to cells through anatomy/physiology. Sources of experimental data are related to their electronic representations and computational approaches to model and analyze this information. The course also explores opportunities for clinical applications, translational science and data-driven research.

BIME 535 Clinical Care and Informatics (3)
Healthcare enterprises are highly complex and interdependent, yet they sadly remain poorly integrated. There remains a disconnect between informatics and the core product of the organization, the clinical care process. Informaticists and clinicians (doctors, nurses and others care providers) often remain strangers, with little mutual understanding of the work of the other. To best train healthcare informaticists for the future, we believe this disconnect must be formally addressed throughout graduate training. This course is designed as an introduction to the world of clinical care, not only the technical and scientific components, but as well the history, culture, and psychological aspects. We discover through reading, discussion and direct experience the people and processes of clinical care and how they relate (and how they don’t!) to informatics in healthcare organizations. We apply the UW BHI conceptual models of informatics to the challenges and issues facing practitioners and consumers of clinical medicine and healthcare today.

BIME 543 Consumer Health and Informatics (3)
This course is intended to provide a general introduction to consumer health informatics (CHI). The course will cover theories of health behavior and information behavior; key concepts and terminology; and main application domains. First, this course will present an overview of theories that are relevant to health behavior change and health information behavior, and explore how they might be applied to promote changes in health behavior and/or explain health consumers’ behaviors. The course will also introduce key issues such as health literacy, patient-centered communication, patient empowerment, patient-generated data, participation, and privacy. Lastly, the course will cover CHI applications in major application domains including personal health records, m-Health, and telehealth. 

BIME 537 Informatics Research and Evaluation Methods (4)
In this course, we cover the breadth of research methodologies used in the multi-disciplinary field of Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI). BHI is grounded in computer science, information science, statistics, biology, and medicine, and the research methods for the field draw on these varied traditions. A high-level course objective is to improve students’ ability to critically assess research and evaluation studies, regardless of the methodology used. Students also learn how to conduct literature reviews and write research plans and proposals, with a focus on topics including sources of bias, study design, evaluation metrics, quality measures, and quantitative/qualitative study approaches.

BIME 598 Teaching, Learning and Communication in Biomedical and Health Informatics  (1 Credit per quarter, required for Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters)

Informaticians, regardless of their career path, require a core set of professional skills. These include active engagement in life-long learning’ to communicate effectively using multiple channels to a broad range of audiences; to productively participate in interdisciplinary teams; to adopt ethical practices in research and application’ to and to teach, manage, and lead. This course focuses heavily on developing these skills. In each area you will have multiple opportunities to practice, to learn from peer feedback, and to improve.

BIME 550 Knowledge Representation and Applications (3)
What is a knowledge representation? Why are issues in knowledge representation important for biomedical informatics application builders? What is the relationship between knowledge and data, between knowledge bases and data bases? In addition to answering these questions, this course covers: frame-based systems, description logics, automatic theorem proving, complexity vs. tractability, ontologies, rule-based systems, and a variety of applications in the biomedical domain. Although we cover a fair amount of computer science (primarily artificial intelligence), the emphasis is on the implications of these results on the biomedical and health informatics field.

BIME 554 Biomedical Information Interactions and Design (4)
This course introduce the theoretical frameworks and research methodologies that underpin the study of human-information interactions and the design of technology to support or enhance those interactions. The course will emphasize how findings from studies of people can be used to inform and improve the design of information systems in biomedical contexts. It will cover a variety of design methodologies as well as exercises in design thinking. Examples will be drawn from clinical informatics, personal health informatics, public health informatics, and bioinformatics.

Undergraduate BHI courses:

BIME 435 Informatics in Health Care
How can you improve healthcare with informatics? There are growing career opportunities to transform healthcare using information science and technology!

This course introduces information technology applied in healthcare across three modules that 1) overview the U.S. healthcare system, 2) establish an understanding of clinical information systems used in healthcare, including electronic health records, and  3) survey applications in clinical informatics, such as virtual health care and the learning health system.

BIME 300 Transformational Technologies for Biology, Medicine, and Health  (5)
How are new information technologies affecting health care and medicine? When you visit the doctor, is he/she using modern information management methods? Are medical errors more likely or less likely to occur with new technologies? And how will new knowledge about the human genome affect health care?

In this course, we introduce the field of biomedical & health informatics through three modules that focus on current technologies in the field: (1) Electronic health records (EHRs), (2) Data science and secondary use of EHR data, and (3) Translational bioinformatics & personalized medicine. Each module will include hands-on exercises, and course evaluation will be based primarily on team projects that explore the technologies involved.

BHI Colloquia

BIME 590 Biomedical and Health Informatics Research Colloquium (1-3, max. 12) 
Computers and information technology are improving and changing healthcare education, research, and clinical practice. Informatics faculty and researchers from the UW and affiliated institutions present their research findings as well as discuss their views of national developments in their respective disciplines. Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

BIME 591 Selected Topics in Biomedical & Health Informatics (1, max. 12) 

This course provides a forum for extensive interactive research discussions. The course format is variable depending on course leader and topic. Both students and faculty may present, and the format may be journal club, practical training, or in-depth research work. Usually, the aim is a focused exploration of a current BHI research topic of interest. Credit / No credit only.

Examples of Seminar Titles:

  • Adventures in R: A Practical Coding Seminar
  • Trust Between Providers and Patients and the Role of Technology
  • Information Technology and Mental Health
  • Robotic Companion Pets for Older Adult Wellness
  • BHI – Kaggle Competition Class: Peer-learning by Solving Real Problems
  • Precision Medicine and Informatics
  • Biological Pathway Analysis: Trends and Applications

Other BHI Courses

BIME 600 Independent Study/Research (1-10) 
Individual readings or study, including independent study in preparation for doctoral examinations, research, etc.

BIME 700 Master’s Thesis (1-15) 

BIME 800 Doctoral Dissertation (1-10)