Department of Biomedical Informatics

Population Health

Population health informatics is a subdiscipline of biomedical informatics that focuses on the integration, management, analysis, and visualization of disparate data sources for understanding and improving population health. Some examples of data sources include, reportable disease cases, health care utilization, census, climate, transportation, animal health, and microbial and virus-related data.

A main difference between clinical informatics and population health informatics is “scope”. Rather than the clinical setting, population health informatics aims to support epidemiology and surveillance conducted at health agencies, at the local, state, federal, or international levels. This includes facilitating electronic transmission and reporting (including the development and implementation of message and data standards) from hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and other entities. In addition, health agencies might consider utilization of non-traditional data sources including animal health and viral genetics as well as innovative models to analyze data, identify outbreaks, and prioritize agency responses.

Some examples of current activities of our faculty include:

  1. Viral genetics and phylogeography for surveillance
  2. Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) for identification of disease clusters
  3. Use of climate, demographic, and genetic predictors for studying influences on virus spread including influenza
  4. Impact of transportation on virus transmission including Ebola virus
  5. Data stewardship of healthcare utilization data for hospitals and clinics in Arizona
  6. Health economics and health policy

Population Health Informatics Faculty