Health information technologies and biotechnologies that enable individualized treatments or targeted therapies are inevitably linked as we move toward personalized medicine.  As a result we are seeing increased overlap in mission between healthcare, biotechnologies, and clinical data management. Researchers, investors and companies are focusing on ‘digital health’ and ‘big data’ – taking wireless monitoring, personal health and clinical information ideas to the next level.

The workforce at this interface of the life sciences and healthcare involves computer scientists, project managers, software engineers, healthcare workers, clinicians, biostatisticians, geneticists, data scientists, device engineers, digital technology and social media professionals, and others. Science Careers (January 2010) reviewed career paths in this broad area, along with useful links for professional development; a new June 2014 article reviews the opportunities.  Bioinformatics career tracks also involve computational thinking, ‘high throughput’ data management, biostatistics and fundamental discovery research in a wide range of R&D settings – from universities to large companies.

As part of governmental and private programs, health information technology (health IT) has become a nationwide focus. Most states, major healthcare providers, community based clinics and physicians’ groups are grappling with not only adopting electronic health record technology, or Electronic Medical Records (EMR), but also making sure the technology improves patient care. As a result current health IT job openings in California are mostly focused on implementing electronic solutions in healthcare and clinical settings (visit this link to get a cross section of job openings).


Health Information Careers (from AHIMA)

American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)

Cosumnes River College (Sacramento) – Health Information Technology program

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMSS).

Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance

CSU Fullerton

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Certificate 
Cal State Fullerton’s certificate in Healthcare Information Technology provides an opportunity for professionals with an IT, healthcare, or project management background to prepare for a new career in this field.  The Certificate in Healthcare Information Technology consists of four required courses totaling 63 hours of lecture and discussion. 6.3 Continuing Education Units will be awarded to the certificate graduate. CSU Fullerton also maintains a Health IT Forum, a learning and networking opportunity for professionals interested in keeping up with this rapidly evolving field.

CSU San Bernardino

Bachelors of Science in Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is the interdisciplinary study of biology and biochemical systems using mathematics and computer science. It involves the use of computers and statistics to make sense out of large amounts of data that are accumulating from high-throughput biological and chemical experiments, such as sequencing of whole gnomes, DNA microarray chips, two-hybrid experiments, and tandem mass spectrometry. The bioinformatics degree program is jointly administered by the School of Computer Science and Engineering, the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The main goal of the bioinformatics degree is to prepare students for graduate studies in bioinformatics.

CSU San Marcos

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Certificate 
United States’ healthcare system is undergoing a fundamental transformation to address ballooning costs while improving access, quality, safety, and efficiency. A critical element of this revolution is the replacement of archaic medical and health record and reporting paper-based systems with modern information technologies. The graduate-level CSUSM HIT program emphasizes information technology, application of analytical methods, re-engineering, innovation, and change management. The program has been developed and taught by faculty and industry experts. It engages students by integrating theory and real world applications, drawing from a variety of organizations and industry groups. The program will also showcase HIT startups. Students will acquire skills relevant to a range of healthcare industry sectors including providers, insurers, government agencies, plan sponsors, HIT support and training organizations, and HIT new ventures. The HIT certificate program is designed to be completed within two semesters of study.

San Diego State University

Master’s of Science in Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics
The Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics programs at SDSU offer graduate-level multidisciplinary education to students with a background in chemistry, biology, computer science, mathematics, physics or engineering. The Professional Science Masters program includes an internship and courses in business and management to better prepare graduates for leadership roles in industry.