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 Medical Computing  posted by  duggu   on 11/27/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Kohane, Isaac, Lucila Ohno-Machado, and Peter Szolovits, HST.950J Medical Computing, Spring 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 09 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Chart of the medical cycle.

Chart of the medical cycle. (Image by Prof. Peter Szolovits.)

Course Highlights

A number of assignments and lecture notes are available for this course.

Course Description

The focus of the course is on medical science and practice in the age of automation and the genome, both present and future.

It includes an analysis of the computational needs of clinical medicine, a review systems and approaches that have been used to support those needs, and an examination of new technologies.

Technical Requirements

Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .java files found on this course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.

Java® is a trademark or registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.  

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.



Topics and Format

The following topics are covered in the course:

  • the nature of clinical data
  • architecture and design of healthcare information systems
  • privacy and security issues
  • medical expert systems
  • introduction to genomic medicine and its techniques.

Case studies of contemporary systems are used in lecture sessions. Term project is required. The project involves using a large pseudonymized clinical dataset to integrate classroom topics.


We plan to give a handful of modest homework assignments to complement and reinforce material taught in the class. You must do the homework problems on your own. Of course you may ask for help and advice from classmates, but the final work that you turn in and all the words used to describe it must be your own.

Required Text

Shortliffe, E. H., L. E. Perreault, G. Wiederhold, and L. M. Fagan. Medical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2001. ISBN: 0387984720.


The last four class sessions will be an opportunity for students to present the results of significant research projects done for the class. We encourage you to team up (in teams of two or three students) to work on projects, and teams that span students with different interests, skills and approaches are encouraged.




  LEC #       TOPICS       KEY DATES
  1       Introduction: Nature of Modern Medicine and Medical Practice        
  2       Nature of Medical Data: Where it is and Where it is Not        
  3       Genomics in Medicine: Centrality of Bioinformatics        
  4       Patient Identification       HW1 Out

Other HW1 Resources
  5       Countering Bioterrorism       HW1 Due
  6       Workflow, Decision Support and Data Gathering       HW2 Out
  7       Computing Support for the Enterprise        
  8       Diagnosis, Standards, Codification        
  9       Patient Data Confidentiality and Security        
  10       Decreasing Variability in Health Care       HW2 Due
  11       Computerized Physician Order Entry: Using Technology To Improve Patient Safety        
  12       Integration and Data Sharing or Medical Data for Quality Improvement        
  13       Telemedicine        
          No Classes       HW3 Out
  14       Genomic Medicine I: Population Genetics in the Post Genomic Era       HW3 Addendum
  15       Genomic Medicine II: Expression Arrays, Gene Clustering and Distance Metrics       HW3 Due
  16       Decision Analysis and Decision Support       Sign up for Final Presentation
  17       Getting to Causality in Functional Genomics       Project Proposals Due
  18       Advanced Expert Systems        
  19       Patient Monitoring        
  20       Genomic Medicine III: Introduction to Genomics        
  21       Genomic Medicine IV: Linking Genotypes and Phenotypes        
  22       Genomic Medicine V: Reverse Engineering        
  23       Student Presentations        
  24       Student Presentations        
  25       Student Presentations        
  26       Student Presentations   Tell A Friend