Course Descriptions

Core 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)
This course provides an overview of the emerging field of public health informatics (defined as the application of information technology to public health practices, research and learning). The course covers core public health topics including: epidemiology, environmental health, health policy, community assessment and international health. Key informatics challenges and IT applications for these core public health areas are examined.  Informatics topics such as public health data and vocabulary standards, privacy and security, interoperability and data integration are explored. The course is designed for graduate students in biomedical health informatics, information sciences and public health.

BIME 534 Biology and Informatics (3)
An introduction/review of some of the fundamental concepts in core fields of biology, the information representation and management problems that arise from these fields, and current and potential informatics solutions to these problems.

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 (formerly 598) Special Topics in Biomedical and Health Informatics: 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 tele-health.                                                                                       

BIME 537 Informatics Research and Evaluation Methods (4) 
Biomedical and Health Informatics is a broad, multi-disciplinary field. In this course, we cover the breadth of research methodologies used in our field. Because BHI is grounded in diverse fields such as computer science, information science, biology, and medicine, the research methods for BHI draw on these varied traditions and these methodologies are not always compatible. A high-level course objective is to improve your ability to recognize good, high-quality research, regardless of the research methodology used. In general, the course should help answer the question “What is good BHI research?”

BIME 539 Teaching, Learning and Communication in Biomedical and Health Informatics (4)
The goal of this course is to address the general and special issues associated with teaching and learning in the realm of biomedical and health informatics. The course covers written and oral communication methods for diverse, interdisciplinary audiences, and frames the pedagogical issues that arise when addressing multiple audiences with complex learning needs.

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. To elucidate some of these examples, we use the Common List programming language, but prior knowledge of Lisp is not assumed. We also cover other programming and knowledge representation languages such as Prolog.

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.


Other BHI courses:

BIME 498 Transformational Technologies for Biology, Medicine, and Health  (3)
How is information technology transforming the study and practice of biology, medicine, and health care? We introduce the field of biomedical & health informatics through four modules that focus on current technologies in the field: (1) Electronic personal health records, (2) Medical imaging informatics, (3) Bioinformatics and information retrieval, and (4) Public health surveillance systems. (This is an undergraduate-only “special topics” course.)

BIME 532 Computing Concepts for Medical Informatics II (3)
Continuation of topics begun in MEBI 531: multiprogramming and operating system principles, client-server, network programming with sockets, macros, higher level languages, software engineering.

BIME 540 Critically Appraising and Applying Evidence in Health Care (3)
Literature appraisal skills for various articles (therapy effectiveness, diagnostic tests, literature reviews, clinical measurement, prognosis, quality of care, decision analysis, causation/etiology, guidelines, and economic evaluation). Appraisal of clinical information from literature, strengths/weaknesses of data, analyses, study design/applicability to a current patient’s problem. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with HSERV 528

BIME 541 Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis of Evidence (3)
Conceptual understanding of the quantitative methods used to synthesize evidence. Methods for pooling evidence across independent studies, pooling binary/continuous outcomes, differences between fixed and random effects models, and guidelines for appraising published systematic reviews/meta-analyses. Prerequisite: introductory level courses in statistics, epidemiology or biostatistics. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with EPI 541/HSERV 529/PHARM 529

BIME 570 Health Sciences Information Needs, Resources, and Environment (3) 
Characteristics of users of health sciences information; health professionals, researchers, consumers and patients; environments (academic health sciences centers, hospitals, clinics, and public libraries); evaluation of information resources in health care; types and uses of health information management systems; policy issues, professional standards, education, and certification. Offered: jointly with LIS 528.

BIME 590 Selected Topics in Biomedical and Health Informatics (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 Biomedical Health Informatics Research Colloquium (1, max. 12) 
Provides forum for extensive interactive research discussions. Format is round table with short presentations and long facilitated discussion amongst students and core BHI faculty. Both students and faculty present. Topics primarily research focused (ongoing and proposed research.), but also journal articles, current topics of debate, and other. 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

BIME 598 Special Topics in Biomedical and Health Informatics (1-4, max. 12) 
Readings, lectures, and discussions pertaining to a significant biomedical and health informatics problem or an emerging issue. Topics vary.

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)