The field of clinical research informatics--the art and science of improving information flow during clinical studies--is exploding, driving demand for those so skilled. It's an area that is "just solidifying as a field, and there's a lot of work out there," says Peter Embi of the University of Cincinnati Center for Health Informatics, in CTSciNet, the clinical and translational science network.
Improving information flow during trials, creating software to alert intake coordinators when eligible patients are recorded in a hospital data warehouse, and designing systems that move patient data from bedside monitors into research databases are some of the assignments being tackled by clinical informatics specialists.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes funds to help colleges and universities develop health information technology courses, and graduate-level medical informatics programs are becoming more prevalent. To this point, there has been no traditional training path into medical informatics, according to the article, which is part of a series.