Health Informatics Discussion Forum

Hello Everyone,

   I am finishing up my course work for my MS in Health Informatics this coming Spring 2013 term. I will then have to complete my thesis over the summer in order to complete my program. I am hoping to narrow down my topic by the 2wk of the Spring 2013 term to allow additional research and preparation time as I also work full time. With that being said, I am struggling to select a thesis topic that is meaningful but also accomplishable within the 6month period I have to complete my thesis. 

    My background is in technology with little healthcare or medical knowledge. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and work in the Business Intelligence department of a local healthcare system. Through my current program, I have completed courses in Data Management, Project Management, Database Design, Clincial Decision Support, Public Health Surveillance, and others. With my prior degree course work and professional experience emphasizing database development and analytics, accompanied by the knowledge obtained through my graduate courses thus far, I have become increasingly interested in the data informatics area. 

     My initial topic candidate was the ability to track public health through the use of social media and news outlets. However, I believe this is too broad of a topic for the limited time I have to properly research and extract my conclusions. 

 

Would anyone be able to suggest any topics revovling around clinical data, medical data modeling/warehouseing, or public health and social media?

 

Thank you in advance for any help or direction!

J

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Replies

  • Hi Jessica,

    I think the area you have mention would be a great one. You don't have to do the whole of public health but could focus on a particular disease. I'd be interested to read about a project that looked for evidence of clinical impact of social media surveillance - is there any evidence that monitoring social media improves health outcomes over other means?

    Chris

    • Hello Chris,

      Thank you for your response. This is helpful feedback. I like the idea of narrowing the scope to a specific disease. I became interested in this area of focus after reading a few articles regarding the H1N1 Swine Flu and Twitter. One article touched briefly on the use of social media could aid in communication of such outbreaks. 

      The primary obstacle I have faced thus far from a technical standpoint is the rate limits enforced by social media resources such as Twitter. My problem there is trying to determine the amount of data that would need to be collected for a specific event or disease that would allow conclusions to be properly drawn.

      This was an article I found interesting as well:

      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone....

      Thanks,

      Jessica

      • Hi Jessica,

        You may want to contact ISDS (International Society for Disease Surveillance), I think they are putting together a workgroup and looking into similar areas of study, would be good to see what they are doing or where they are at.

         

        Also, ASPR had an app contest and the winners are doing some what of Twitter data mining for disease surveillance, http://mappyhealth.com/.

         

        Best,

        Nina

         

  • Hi Jessica, there's a UK researcher called Felix Greaves who is working in this area. His web page is: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/people/felix.greaves08/

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