with concentration on Bio-Informatics Track (MS HI-BI)
Offered by the Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics
(Approved by the UP Board of Regents on 27 May 2004 during its 1182nd meeting)
Rationale and Description
Health Informatics covers the organization and management of information in the areas of patient care, research and administration. It focuses on the structuring of health data and knowledge to support data analysis and decision-making in medicine and health care with the use of information systems. It covers a wide spectrum of applications, from computer-based patient records in general practices and hospitals to electronic communication between health care providers, from signal analysis and image processing to decision support systems. Effective delivery of healthcare requires correct decision-making based on proper management of health information.
Most graduate programs in Health Informatics are offered in western countries and are not easily applicable in the local context. When resources are scarce, incorrect decisions based on improper use of information and inappropriate design can worsen the already deprived situation. Hence, there is need for trained personnel to focus systems development in health care in the proper context. A survey among the interns and faculty of the U.P. College of Medicine signified high interest in a formal course in health information management. There are interesting career paths in health informatics including academic research and teaching, institutional management, public policy, information systems development and clinical practice.
The University of the Philippines Manila is recognized as the premier academic institution in the health sector. It is the only institution in the country with a tertiary hospital, an undergraduate program in health informatics and a medical informatics unit all within the campus.
There are two tracks being offered: Medical Informatics (College of Medicine) and Bioinformatics (College of Arts and Sciences). The tracking approach will ensure that the needs and interests of the students are sufficiently met within their desired expertise path. The program is designed to allow maximum collaboration between the two colleges for greater opportunities in education, research and collegial interaction as well as providing the students with various laboratory works in affiliated institutions. It is worthy to note that health information management is multidisciplinary and multi-focal in character. This multidisciplinary character will facilitate a holistic view of health information management.
Bioinformatics generally speaking is the creation and development of advanced information and computational technologies for problems in molecular biology. It deals with methods for storing, retrieving and analyzing biomedical data, such as nucleic acid (DNA/RNA) and protein sequences, structures, functions, pathways genetic interactions, population modeling and numerical simulations.
There is significant industrial interest in bioinformatics currently because of the information being produced by the genome sequencing projects and the need to harness this for medical diagnostic and therapeutic uses.
Comparative analyses of gene sequences from hundreds of organisms have revolutionized the concepts of biological diversity. The exponential increase in the amount of sequence data stored in public databases and the continuous development of novel methods and tools for the analysis of DNA sequences represent new challenges for modern molecular biologists. An understanding of bioinformatics methods is required in order to be able to handle, analyze and interpret large volumes of sequence data that will be generated in the near future. Bioinformatics is thus emerging as a new field of research relevant to basic sciences as well as to the projects initiated in the design of new antibiotics and vaccine strategies by the pharmaceutical industries for a much better understanding of a disease. As biochemistry shifts more from a wet science to a computational science, the demand for people who understand both biochemical and computing aspects is increasing all the time. It aims to meet the fast growing international demand of industries such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology for competent staff that are skilled in both molecular biology and information technology.
It is within this framework that an MS Health Informatics is being offered. These are intended to prepare health professionals, scientists, educators, policy makers in the health information management appropriate to the Philippine and international settings.
The program is designed to provide prospective leaders in Health Informatics with competencies in Health Informatics such that at the end of the program, the students will be able to:
• Apply informatics concepts, skills and principles for the efficient solution of health informatics problems;
• Provide perspectives in health informatics that can be used in the critical study of all levels of health information systems.
• Plan, undertake, evaluate and monitor health informatics research projects; and
• Provide technical services to health professionals and agencies for both private and public sectors concerned with management of information which could be the bases for health policy formulation, thereby providing leadership and excellence in health informatics.
Core Courses (11 units)
HI 201 Health Informatics 3.0
HI 210 System Analysis and Design 3.0
HI 271 Ethical, Legal & Social Issues in Health Informatics 1.0
HI 298 Seminar in Health Informatics 1.0
HI 299 Research Methods in Health Informatics 3.0
Major Courses (13 units)
BNF 201 Fundamentals of Bioinformatics 2.0
BNF 216 Data Modeling and Design of Bioinformatics 2.0
BNF 231 Architecture, Dynamics and Structure of Nucleic
Acids and Proteins 3.0
BNF 240 Representations and Algorithms in Bioinformatics 3.0
BNF 241 Stochastic Models in Bioinformatics 3.0
Suggested Electives/Cognates* 6-9 units**
BNF 242 Decision Theory in Bioinformatics 2.0
BNF 250 Business Aspects of Bioinformatics 2.0
BNF 260 Bioinformatics in Clinical Practice 2.0
BNF 232 Macromolecular Modeling and Chemoinformatics 2.0
BNF 233 Analytical Methods in Bioinformatics 2.0
BNF 234 Computational Systems Biology 2.0
BNF 295 Special Topics in Bioinformatics 3.0
MI 227 Clinical and Laboratory Information System 3.0
MI 238 Internet Technologies in Medical Practice 2.0
* Or any graduate course offered in any UP unit as approved by the adviser.
**Students may opt to take 2 unit or 3 units courses provided that the total number of elective/cognate is 3.
Thesis 6 units
• Graduate of a bachelor’s degree
• TOEFL score of 500 as required by the graduate school
• Reference Letters (2) from employer and former professor
• Be in residence for at least one full academic year immediately prior to the awarding of the degree.
• Have completed a minimum of 36 units of formal courses (11 units of core courses, 13 units of major and 3 elective courses (6-9 units))
• Have a weighted average of 2.00 or better in the core and major/required courses and an overall weighted average of 2.0 or better, provided there is no grade of 5.0 in any of the courses.
• Have successfully defended a master’s thesis and
• Submitted the required number of bound copies.