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Updating the BIOINFOMED Study: Recent Outstanding Developments in Biomedical Informatics

Author(s): Fernando Martin-Sanchez, I. Hermosilla, F. J. Vicente

In December 2001, the European Commission promoted a Conference in which more than 400 experts analyzed the synergies arisen between Bioinformatics (BI), Medical Informatics (MI) and Neuroinformatics. In November 2002, and in order to contribute to the strategy of the European R&D; policy for the following decade in such areas, the White Paper of the BIOINFOMED project was presented at the international congress BIOINFORSALUD 2002 (Valencia, Spain). In the strategic document entrusted by the Commission, the relations established between BI and MI were analyzed, resulting in a new definition of the discipline of Biomedical Informatics (BMI) that aims to facilitate the developments of Genomic Medicine. To elaborate the White Paper, a committee of 30 international experts coordinated by the Institute of Health "Carlos III" (ISCIII) designed the agenda with 18 lines of research that corroborated the existing synergy. They pointed out those areas in which the efforts had to be prioritized. In this article, we update this study by highlighting recent outstanding developments in this field. The projects presented respond to a careful selection carried out among the numerous initiatives that have arisen in the three years passed between the publication of the White Paper and this article. Some of the projects analyzed in this paper are: the IT infrastructure for biobanks under the Public Population Project in Genomics (P3G) Consortium, a Network of Excellence (INFOBIOMED) in Biomedical Informatics constituted within the European Union Sixth Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, the initiative headed by HL7 to include genetic information in the electronic health record, the proposal of a Human Phenome Project, a Spanish Cooperative Research Thematic Network (INBIOMED) in Biomedical Informatics, the new National Centers for Biomedical Computing (NCBCs), funded by NIH, under the BISTI initiative and the projects related with the simulation and modeling of Human Physiology.