Centre for Health Informatics

Advancing Health Informatics Research and Training for Precision Health.

The Centre for Health Informatics is the newest University of Calgary research and innovation centre within the Cumming School of Medicine. The Centre came into existence in 2018 to advance and innovate health informatics for Precision Health through timely data access, data analytics such as visualization, linkage and coding, and leading research using secondary data for research trials, and clinical decision support. In Alberta's unique healthcare environment with a single Electronic Medical Records system, the Centre for Health Informatics brings together data assets to foster collaboration among investigators, support grant development, recruit faculty and students, develop cutting-edge analytics, and build capacity in data science and machine-learning.


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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives but this is no match for the curiosity, determination and passion of the UCalgary community. In the fight against coronavirus, insight into preventive actions, population mobility, and the spread of the disease, can help public health leaders respond more effectively to the pandemic. The Centre for Health Informatics, under the direction of the University of Calgary’s COVID-19 Task Force, is supporting the research initiatives proposed by the province of Alberta and the City of Calgary in partnership with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health. 

Our varied expertise in biostatistics, visualization, software engineering, and data analysis as well as on-hand AHS analysts with direct AHS data access to up-to-date data poised CHI to be in the perfect position to support evidence-based policy decisions by the city and the province. CHI’s close relationship with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services as well as the University’s infrastructure allowed the COVID Task Force to get a front-facing, accessible tracker live in less than one week!



What have we been up to?

In the past six months since the beginning of the pandemic in Alberta, our team has been working hard to harness the power of data to track, analyze and report trends and changes in the data to be able to inform and advise the City of Calgary's response. Check out this article in UToday that highlights the efforts put forth by Dr. Tyler Williamson, PhD, of CHI and Dr. Nishan Sharma, EdD, of W21C and their teams. 

The pandemic has shown the power that data holds, and thrust upon us was the need to find better ways to share it.

Dr. Tyler Williamson, PhD

Associate Director of CHI and an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences


Featured Team Member

Alexander Krusina

Alexander Krusina

Alex is a data scientist at the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Software Engineering. His main focus is creating software to support many of the projects at the centre. Alex is currently working on creating interactive visualizations to showcase the analytic capabilities of the CHI, as well as the many datasets that are available at the CHI. He is also involved in the creation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) processing pipeline and disease phenotyping using artificial intelligence. Previous projects include a text annotation tool for the creation of natural language processing training data, and an ICD-10 code recommendation system powered by association rule mining and reinforcement learning.

Alex has also been heavily involved in the creation of the CHI COVID-19 Tracker. The tracker displays many details about the spread of COVID-19 across Alberta in an easy to understand, visual format. One of the key components of the tracker is a figure which displays the confirmed cases of countries across the world, along with the policies they have implemented. This can help shed light on which policies have had positive effects, and potentially influence policy making decisions within Alberta. Alex has previously provided a brief overview of the tracker for a COVID-19 video series hosted by the O’brien Institute for Public Health. Click here to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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