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What is Health Care (Healthcare)

Handbook of Research on Distributed Medical Informatics and E-Health
Is the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical, nursing, and allied health professions.
Published in Chapter:
Medical Informatics: Thirty Six Peer-Reviewed Shades
Sanjay P. Sood (C-DAC School of Advanced Computing, Mauritius), Sandhya Keeroo (C-DAC School of Advanced Computing, Mauritius), Victor W.A. Mbarika (Southern University, USA & A&M College, USA), Nupur Prakash (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India), and Ankur Seth (Adobe Systems, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-002-8.ch001
It is claimed that seeds of ‘medical informatics’ were sown in 1960s.From this time until the 1990s experts have described the discipline as emerging. This perennial state of advancement can be dedicated to the pioneers of medical informatics who constantly realign its frontiers as the need changes for the rapid developments in the techniques pertaining to organization, processing, management and use of information. During this evolution, researchers and practitioners have made notable attempts to define medical informatics. As a result, today we have a noteworthy collection of peer-reviewed definitions of medical informatics. These definitions not only enlighten us with different perspectives and applications of medical informatics but they also provide a measure of the proliferation of this domain’s content. Many of these definitions of medical informatics are unique and explanatory in their respective inferences and contexts. Hence, collectively they can form a larger picture of medical informatics. Lack of clarity about a domain can prove to be counterproductive for new entrants and may also deflect their energies into relatively unrewarding directions. In order to throw light on various perspectives of ‘medical informatics’ and to understand the evolving meaning of the domain, we carried out a systematic review of formal definitions of medical informatics. An analysis was also performed by mapping 36 peer-reviewed definitions with MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) descriptors relevant to medical informatics. We believe that this research would serve as a handy and an informative resource and may also catalyze further research.
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