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What is Health Informatics?
Health Informatics is the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning. It includes collecting, storing, analyzing, and presenting data in a digital format and harnessing the big data revolution to create secure, efficient systems that transmit and retain medical information. The field of Health Informatics is expanding: careers in Health Informatics now represent the eighth largest share of health care job postings.
Why Do We Need Health Data Scientists?
As much as 30% of the entire world’s stored data is generated in the health care industry. A single patient typically generates close to 80 megabytes each year in imaging and electronic medical record (EMR) data. This trove of data has obvious clinical, financial, and operational value for the health care industry, and the new value pathways that such data could enable have been estimated by McKinsey to be worth more than $300 billion annually in reduced costs alone.
Data scientists are the experts who compile, link, and analyze these disparate data to provide the evidence and insight to inform clinical and system level decision-making.
Health Informatics at UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte is a leader in innovating to meet the evolving needs of our business community and the region’s workforce.
The Health Informatics and Analytics program at UNC Charlotte leverages its position within the University’s Data Science Initiative (DSI) and capitalizes on the strength of its parent colleges, the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Computing and Informatics, to prepare domestic and international students to advance the professional practice of health informatics through a thorough grounding in data science, system architecture, and health analytics.
The program offers a Professional Science Master’s program leading to the M.S. degree and a Graduate Certificate, and contributes to other campus programs, including Early Entry and Dual Degree programs.
- The 36-credit master's degree in Health Informatics and Analytics is a face-to-face program designed for working adults with a variety of professional backgrounds including health and computing, as well as those interested in transitioning into the field. Courses are offered in the evenings to support both full and part-time students. Our newly revised curriculum stresses hands-on, team-based learning. The professional internship and experiential capstone courses immerse students directly in the workplace and use real-world data sets to address current challenges.
- The 15-credit graduate certificate in Health Informatics and Analytics, a subset of the MS curriculum, provides students with a foundation in health informatics that complements related professional degrees and allows students to seamlessly progress fully into the master’s program in health informatics and analytics if desired.
What is a “Professional” Masters Degree?
A professional master's degree is a practitioner’s credential, designed to allow students to pursue cutting-edge research with world-class faculty in STEM disciplines, while also developing practical business skills highly valued by employers. Interdisciplinary in its approach, PSM's infuse soft skills into the required coursework to produce well-rounded graduates. Nationally, PSMs are distinguished from traditional degrees by their active advisory boards and a practicum or internship requirement to connect students with industry leaders. Students enrolled in UNC Charlotte’s health Informatics PSM learn from both academic leaders and business practitioners and gain the entrepreneurial skills necessary to advance in this rapidly growing and evolving career field. For more information on Professional Science Master's please visit sciencemasters.com.
UNC Charlotte's Data Science Initiative (DSI)
The DSI is an industry-university-state partnership to broaden and deepen North Carolina's business analytics talent and stimulate strategic innovation. It supports high-end job creation and business investment in the Charlotte region and across the state. The lead partners in the DSI, the College of Computing and Informatics, Belk College of Business, and the College of Health and Human Services, have long and successful histories of fostering strategic relationships with the business community. Most recently the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences joined the Data Science Initiative as a full-time partner. This growing team provides intellectual capital, academic programs, and outreach activities to meet the needs of employers in the new data-driven economy, both in developing a highly trained workforce and in providing cutting-edge research to address challenges and opportunities in the business environment.
About UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte is North Carolina's urban research institution. Our campus is located in the Piedmont of North Carolina, just two hours from the mountains and three hours from the Atlantic Ocean. A large public university with a small college feel, more than 29,000 students consider UNC Charlotte’s 1,000-acre campus their home away from home. UNC Charlotte is the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region offering 23 doctoral programs, 63 master’s degree programs, and 139 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees. Fall 2017 enrollment in graduate programs alone exceeded 5,000.