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Transformational Technologies for
Biology, Medicine, and Health
Honors 222B & MEBI 498A, Spring, 2013

Project #4:
Synthesis -- Themes of Data Standards, Data Privacy, & Information Overload

Due Friday, June 7, 5pm.

In this assignment, your goal is to use (at least) one theme to connect public health (or global health) informatics to at least 1 of the three other topic areas we have covered. The three themes are

  • Data privacy, security and ethics
  • Standard
  • Knowledge complexity / information overload

You must describe how one of themes applies to both public health / global health informatics and to one (or more) of the other three modules:

  • Personal Health Record (and / or electronic health record) systems
  • Imaging informatics
  • Bio-informatics, personal genomics, and / or synthetic biology

You may certainly suggest additional themes and try out larger combinations (e.g. 3 modules), but if you do so, please send me an email with your plans, so that I can help with (and approve of) your choice. Below, I provide additional details & requirements for the three themes I have suggested:

(a) Data & communication standards. If you choose this theme, you must first read chpt 7 in your textbook ("Standards in Biomedical Informatics"). Then, depending on your modules you select, I would expect additional, more focused readings on those specific standards that apply in those modules.

(b) Data privacy & ethics. If you choose this theme, you should consider the interplay between public policy and private data, e.g., between HIPAA and notifiable diseases. You must also read chpt 10, section 10.3 thru 10.5. I would also expect some other readings on HIPAA, perhaps medical ethics, and perhaps health policy research.

(c) Knowledge complexity / Information overload. If you choose this theme, you shoud seek out resources that discuss information retrieval, querying capabilities and query models, or knowledge cataloging for biomedical informatics information. You should seek out additional readings on information overload, ideally focused on whichever two modules you choose

(Both chapter 10 and 7 are in the e-res collection of Shortliffe chapters.).

Whichever theme you use, I will expect you to research, find and make reference to at least three outside readings (not the textbook or any of our assigned readings). Your essay should explain how the theme applies in both modules, and describe differences and similarities across modules. You should also include some personal opinions or broader impressions. For example, you could make claims about how important this theme is, or what will happen in the future, or how current applications are ignoring this important theme, or what appropriate directions are for solving these problems. See also the grading rubric for more information about what I am looking for.

Deliverables: For this final project, I simply expect the essay to be placed in the class dropbox by the deadline. You may have only 6 pages of text. (12 point font, 1 inch margins, single spaced). If you choose to have figures, these may be placed at the end, and do not count agains the page limit. You must have at least a brief bibliography (but this doesn't count against the limit either). To improve the clarity and organization, you definitely should use a set of section headlings. .

Grading rubric:

(This will be updated later)

Content: ~50%
Does the student show an understanding of the selected theme? Does the student successfully and sufficiently discuss that theme across both topic areas? Does the student provide examples from the two topic areas; does the student demonstrate an understanding of these topic areas?
Has the student read and understood the required additional reading? Are the selected outside readings appropriate, given the essay?
Is the analysis reasonable? Does the student make a logical argument to reach a conclusion or make an argument?
Organizational clarity: Is there a clear introduction that summarizes the key points? Do paragraphs flow logically? Is there a good concluding paragraph? ~25%
Sentence level clarity: Are sentences convoluted? Does the author use appropriate tenses? Parallel construction? ~15%
Grammar, typos, missing words ~10%


Last Updated:
May, 2012

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