GABiomed Day 1

What a day! I flew into Atlanta yesterday afternoon and was whisked away to Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris, GA (less than 5 miles from the NC border) to be immersed for a week in a survey course of biomedical informatics with 27 other participants.

Today started with breakfast at 7AM and ended shortly after 9PM with a REDCap workshop. I’ll be tweeting all week under the hashtag #GABiomed and will pull out the first tweet of each session for blog posts so you can read them in order. Overall, all the sessions today were fantastic –the speakers were knowledgeable experts; the presentations were engaging (and used active learning techniques); and I’m learning something new every time. Here are my takeaways:

Session #1: What is Biomedical Informatics? –William Hersh, MD

  • Covered all the terminology I’ve encountered so far in the health sciences surrounding informatics
  • The preferred term seems to be informatician 
  • To ponder later: how does informatics relate to data science and information science?
  • I should pay more attention to AMIA

Session #2: From Engagement to Autonomy –Hugo Campos

  • The patient perspective is not talked about enough in academic/research arenas
  • e-Patient and d-Patient
  • Great stories, initiatives, and innovations coming from empowered and tech savvy patients

Session #3: Imaging Informatics –Michael Ackerman, PhD

  • You have to know something about how digital images are created, stored, and compressed
  • To ponder later: why don’t we have more multimedia medical records or multimedia publications?
  • I love blues and yet humans haven’t evolved to be able to see all the different blues

Session #4: Data Management –Paul Harris, PhD

  • Many of the recommendations in this talk I also pass onto researchers
  • Interesting recommendation to consider DNA collection if appropriate for the study
  • The class exercise to identify variables was insightful

Session #5: REDCap Discussion/Demonstration –Paul Harris, PhD

  • REDCap has built in biomedical ontologies
  • The group exercise to build a survey was good but 7 members to a team is too big
  • Great examples of different ways researchers have used REDCap

On a side note: the food has been great, but I drank 3 cups of coffee and filled up on way too much sugar on breaks. Tomorrow I’ve got to find healthier options and fit some exercise in! Hurricane Irma isn’t affecting this area too badly –just a lot of rain and chilly temps.


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