CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Yearb Med Inform 2020; 29(01): 015-025
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1701992
IAHSI Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart

International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI): Strategy and Focus Areas, 1st Version[*]

Fernando Martin-Sanchez
1  Digital Health Research Department, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
Marion J. Ball
2  Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics (MICHI), University of Texas at Arlington, TX, USA
Michio Kimura
3  Medical Informatics Department, School of Medicine, Hamamatsu University, Shizuoka, Japan
Paula Otero
4  Department of Health Informatics, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Elaine Huesing
5  International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA)
Christoph U. Lehmann
6  Clinical Informatics Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA
Reinhold Haux
7  Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics of TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 August 2020 (online)


Background: The International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI) is the Academy of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). As an international forum for peers in biomedical and health informatics, the Academy shall play an important role in exchanging knowledge, providing education and training, and producing policy documents.

Objectives: A major priority of the Academy’s activities in its inaugural phase was to define its strategy and focus areas in accordance with its objectives and to prioritize the Academy’s work, which can then be transferred to respective taskforces.

Method: This document reflects the major outcomes of intensive discussions that occurred during 2019. It was presented at the Academy’s 3rd Plenary on August 25th, 2019, in Lyon, France.

Results: Regardless of the ‘living nature’ of the strategy and focus areas document, it was concluded during the Plenary that the first version, which will be used as a base for decisions on the Academy’s future activities, should be made available to a broad audience. Three out of eight ‘Visions for IAHSI‘, presented in the IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics 2018, were identified as central for developing, implementing, and evaluating the Academy’s strategic directions: (1) advise governments and organizations on developing health and health sciences through informatics, (2) stimulate progress in biomedical and health informatics research, education, and practice, and (3) share and exchange knowledge. Taskforces shall be implemented to work in the following areas, which were considered as priority themes: (1) artificial intelligence in health: future collaboration of entities with natural and with artificial intelligence in health care, and (2) current landscape of standards for digital health.

Conclusions: Taskforces are now being established. Besides specific key performance indicators, suggested for monitoring the work of theses taskforces, the strategy to monitor the progress of the Academy itself has to be measured by relevant and acceptable metrics.

* This document was presented at the Academy’s 3rd Plenary on August 25, 2019, in Lyon, France. Academy Fellows voted that, regardless of the ‘living nature’ of the strategy and focus areas document, decisions on future activities will be based on the first version for now. Because of the importance of the document and of its comprehensive content, the decision was made to publish an edited version of the complete document in the 2020 edition of the IMIA Yearbook. In this edited version a summary and keywords have been added. All web-addresses have been checked and, where necessary, updated on March 31, 2020. Some spelling errors were corrected. Provisionally mentioned names for taskforce members have been removed. Academy Board members (elected and ex-officio) during the time period where the strategy and focus areas document had been elaborated are listed as authors. The first author has chaired this activity. The last and corresponding author prepared the edited version. Fellows having contributed to this strategy and focus areas document are listed in the acknowledgements.