The Long Road to Digitization: A History of Healthcare Informatics

A couple of weeks ago I touched on the differences between good and bad health IT. So I thought it’d only be appropriate to take a walk down the long road towards digitization.

In the very beginning, there was Germany’s Dr. Gustav Wagner, founder of the German Society for Medical Documentation, Computer Science and Statistics. It was the world’s very first professional organization for informatics.

It wasn’t until the late 1950s, that the argument was made for computers to be integrated into the healthcare field for the sake of automation, error reduction and perhaps even performance improvement. The publication of a highly influential paper, “Reasoning Foundations of Medical Diagnosis,” by Ledley and Lusted, helped propel the movement even further.

Some may be surprised that the world’s first patient scheduling software or order entry system were introduced not too long ago. Or even that President Obama has called for a national electronic health record system by the end of this year. But as technology progresses, these improvements will not only continue to simplify healthcare, but also skyrocket the role of tech in the healthcare record sphere.

The infographic below dives into the history of healthcare informatics–from inception to today.. It also sheds light on some of the influential figures that helped transform health informatics into one of the most vital fields in the industry.

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Source: Adelphi University Health Informatics

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