What is Public Health Informatics?

If you have ever considered pursuing a career in the field of public health, an important question has probably crossed your mind: What is public health informatics? By reading the information to be found below, you can obtain an answer to this question and several others that pertain to the field of public health informatics.

Public Health Informatics-A Brief Overview

Although broadly defined, public health informatics is basically the application of informatics within the world of public health-including fields such as prevention, surveillance, health promotion, and preparedness. In elaborating onĀ the definition of public health informatics, Thomas G. Savel notes that “It is an interdisciplinary profession that applies mathematics, engineering, information science, and related social sciences (e.g., decision analysis) to important public health problems and processes.” Specifically, the field involves facilitating understanding regarding disorders and diseases that affect the public. In addition to developing cures and therapies to treat debilitating disorders and diseases, public health informaticists work with clinicians in order to administer effective healthcare. Public health informatics and related fields such as population informatics incorporate working on technology and information issues by emphasizing the perspective of individuals or groups.

Roles and Responsibilities

Although public health informaticists can have a plethora of unique roles and responsibilities that must be fulfilled, some of the more prevalent ones tend to include:

  • Developing the software that will be used for global information distribution
  • Using social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook) in order to disseminate important information to the public
  • Collecting data that will be used to prevent or counteract pandemics
  • Devising ways to overcome language and cultural obstacles that can arise within the field of health information distribution
  • Implementing new courses of action that will educate the public during a medical emergency like a nuclear leak or hurricane

People who enter the field of public health informatics were oftentimes previously employed as:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Software developers
  • Information Technologies
  • Research lab assistants

Careers In Public Health Informatics

Because health informatics is one of the most rapidly growing career sectors of this contemporary era, people who choose to pursue a job in this vocational field will oftentimes be able to accomplish their objective. There are a wide variety of sectors that individuals who want to work within the field of public health informatics can do so, and some of them include:

  • Human Behavior. Individuals with this interest can use their public health informatics knowledge to promote the establishment and/or improvement of individual health behavior.
  • Technology. Individuals who enjoy technology can integrate their knowledge of public health informatics with roles as consultants, application developers or designers, and system analysts.
  • Health. Individuals who want to pursue a profession in the field of health can use their public health informatics proficiency to attain a position within medical fields such as public health information or nursing. In so doing, individuals can make use of technology to develop new and effective solutions for health care.

People who are interested in pursuing public health informatics as a career can also use their quantitative and analytical skills to become evaluation specialists, data miners, clinical researchers, or quality improvement analysts.


If you are thinking about pursuing a career in the field of public health informatics, you should know that doing so can be personally and professionally rewarding. Now that you have an answer to the important question “What is public health informatics?,” you can determine whether this is the right career path for you to pursue.