Pursuing studies in health informatics is an excellent choice for individuals who want to work at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and data science. With high demand, various job roles, opportunities to positively impact patient care, interdisciplinary collaborations, and flexibility, health informatics studies provide a clear pathway to a fulfilling career. Helen wrote a blog post about studying HI too. My recommendations regarding the MSc in Health Informatics at KI are listed below 😊
Attend information sessions
Attend information sessions or virtual events to learn more about the program and ask any questions you may have. Connect with @kistudents, @ki_studenter, and @mfsthlm on Instagram, and KI student’s youtube channel. You can find there Q&A sessions and information that can be helpful before coming to Sweden.
Build a solid professional network
Connect with other students, alumni, faculty members, and industry professionals. Attend networking events, join online communities, and participate in professional organizations related to health informatics. Well-known professional organizations related to HI:
- American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA): AMIA is a professional organization promoting healthcare informatics.
- International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA): IMIA is a global organization that uses health informatics to improve healthcare outcomes.
- European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI): EFMI is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the use of health informatics in Europe.
- Health Informatics Europe (HIE): HIE is an organization that represents health informatics professionals in Europe.
- British Computer Society Health (BCS Health): BCS Health is an organization that represents health informatics professionals in the UK.
- Italian Association for Medical Informatics (AIIM): AIIM is an organization that represents medical informatics professionals in Italy.
- Swedish Association of Medical Informatics (SFMI): SFMI is an organization that represents medical informatics professionals in Sweden.
- French Association for Health Information Systems (AFSIS): AFSIS is an organization that represents health informatics professionals in France.
These organizations can provide networking opportunities, educational resources, and advocacy for the profession.
Develop technical skills
Health informatics involves working with data, software, and technology. Consider taking courses or workshops in programming, data analysis, or database management to build your technical skills. I would suggest watching youtube videos regarding these topics or taking courses on Udemy. Several technical skills may be beneficial to have, including:
- Programming and data analysis skills
- You can learn basics in Python, Java, or SQL. It can help with data analysis, database management, and software development. But… don’t be scared – we are taking programming courses (this year – python) from the beginning, so previous knowledge is beneficial but is not required.
- Health information systems knowledge and health data standards
- Familiarity with electronic health record (EHR) systems, health information exchanges (HIEs), and other health information systems can benefit health informatics. As first year students, we are having courses about health data standards, e.g. HL7, SNOMED, and ICD-10.
- Information security
- Knowledge of information security principles, including access control, encryption, and data protection, is essential in health informatics.
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence
- These technologies are becoming increasingly important in healthcare. Machine learning and AI can help healthcare professionals analyze large amounts of data, detect patterns, and provide insights that can improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
Non-technical skills are important too
- Communication skills: Communication effectively with others, including healthcare professionals, patients, and IT staff, is essential in health informatics. You should be able to articulate ideas clearly, listen actively, and collaborate with others. Trust me – the ability to work in a group is a big plus. You should be able to understand and appreciate the perspectives of others from different disciplines.
- Problem-solving skills: You should be able to think critically, analyze information, and develop creative solutions to problems.
- Project management skills: Students should have strong project management skills, including planning, organizing, and monitoring project progress.
- Ethical and legal considerations: Health informatics involves working with sensitive healthcare data, and students should be aware of ethical and legal concerns related to privacy, confidentiality, and security.
- Adaptability: Health informatics is a rapidly evolving field, and students should be able to adapt to new technologies, processes, and workflows.
Stay up-to-date with emerging technologies
The field of health informatics is constantly evolving with new technologies and tools. Keep informed of the latest developments, trends, and innovations by attending conferences, workshops, and seminars.
Overall, starting studies in health informatics requires a commitment to developing both technical and non-technical skills, as well as staying up-to-date with industry developments, and also seeking out mentorship and networking opportunities. With dedication and hard work, you can pursue a rewarding career in this exciting and growing field, and find friends with the same interests like you! 🙂
My name is Anna and I'm 24 years old. I am from Poland. I am studying the Master's Programme in Health Informatics at Karolinska Institutet. I have always been interested in Scandinavian culture; fika time is one of my favourites! I like to bake, edit videos, and play basketball or chess in my free time. I'm also a Stephen King enthusiast. A fun fact about me is I don't have space for more books in my room!