Health care and information technology are two industries that are becoming increasingly intertwined as populations of developed countries age and medical technology grows ever more complex. Students interested in doctoral work in health information technology will find themselves on the cutting edge of information management and health care delivery. A handful of universities rise to the top in offering doctoral programs that can meet the growing demands of this exciting field.
“U.S. News & World Report” ranked Indiana University at Bloomington No. 6 in information and technology management in the publication’s annual graduate school rankings. Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing offers a health informatics track within its Ph.D. program that prepares students to become expert researchers in the field. The program explores different kinds of technology that illuminate and improve human health, such as algorithms used to predict the spread of disease and personal applications that allow patients to better manage their own wellbeing. The program draws faculty from a variety of disciplines, including ubiquitous computing, complex systems, bioinformatics and cyberinfrastructure.
University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is slowly becoming a powerhouse research institution. According to its website, its graduate schools have seen significant increases in research funding from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. In this spirit, the school offers a doctoral program in biomedical and health informatics that combines medical science and information technology. The interdisciplinary program draws from both the medical school and business school, among other areas, and provides coursework as diverse as human pathophysiology and databases and medical ethics. Doctoral students select from five curricular tracks: knowledge-based systems, health services management and policy, health informatics systems, medical imaging and instrumentation and public health informatics.
Oregon Health and Science University
Oregon Health and Science University boasts a biomedical informatics graduate program that has enrolled 1,359 individuals since its inception in 1996, and that stands as one of the largest programs of its kind in the world, according to the school’s website. The program’s stated goal is to train future professionals, researchers and leaders in the broad field of biomedical and health informatics. Ph.D. students can choose from two tracks: clinical informatics or bioinformatics and computational biology. The former track focuses on information structure and flow at the level of healthcare systems, individuals and consumers in the marketplace. The latter track focuses on information at the cellular and molecular levels.
Northeastern University boasts a faculty full of Guggenheim and Fullbright fellows and other professors who have earned grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, according to the school’s website. The Ph.D. program in personal health informatics prepares students to research and develop new technologies capable of transforming healthcare delivery around the world. According to the program website, the curriculum combines human-computer interface technology and experimental design with extensive research in healthcare delivery. It also provides students a strong foundation in health science and experimental methodology. Students are expected to bring not only technical prowess to the program but also a passion for change and innovation.