It is my honour and privilege to be a member of the Indian Association for Medical Informatics (IAMI) for the past 15 years. The rich diversity of professional expertise that spans across multiple disciplines and diverse backgrounds ranging from Information Technology, Data Science, Mathematical and Computational Sciences including Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and specialities in Medicine, Nursing, Dental, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy as well as allied health sciences including Indian Systems of Medicine provides the right cross-disciplinary ecosystem that is ideal for innovative thinking, development of disruptive technologies and their implementation at scale to improve health for the citizens in India and globally.
India has been recognized over the globe as a leading producer of information technology related innovations, products and patents. Despite being the world's top destination for information technology talent pool, the health systems in India have not benefited much from the richness of India’s information technology expertise. IAMI aims to bridge this gap and has been serving as an advocate for cross-disciplinary research and innovation in areas of data sciences, informatics and translating information into actionable insights.
Recognising these opportunities, India is now providing significant thought leadership in the area of health informatics and digital health in the global arena, a prime example of the same being India as a member state of the World Health Organization tabling the resolution on Digital Health during the 71st World Health Assembly in May 2018. These developments are therefore an opportune moment for professionals with expertise in medical informatics to work together to garner the benefits of Digital Health for the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem and showcase to the world its capacity in the area of health informatics and data sciences.
IAMI has been fortunate to have pioneering health and technology experts as its leaders and mentors, the first President of IAMI Dr. Ramachandra Dattaraya Lele was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Bhusan for his contribution to health and technology and has authored several books including Computers in Medicine which is a standard textbook in many universities. Professor Lazar Mathew, one of the founding members and the second President of IAMI has been honoured for his scientific contributions as fellow of the Indian Academy of Biomedical Sciences, International Medical Sciences Academy and National Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr. N. G. Rao who served with the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services is one of the founding members who conceptualized IAMI and served as the first Vice President and President for several years thereafter. Several other leading academicians and researchers have served as mentors to the organization and have contributed to its growth over the past 25 years.
IAMI has been keenly engaged with the key stakeholders in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and several IAMI members have chaired and contributed to the Electronic Health Records Standards 2016 and serve on the committees for the formulation of guidelines for standards as applicable to Health Informatics in the Indian context.
It has been my honour to represent IAMI at several national and international forums with an aim to evolve IAMI to be an internationally recognized high impact professional association in India. We have several Institutional members that include many prestigious medical institutes in our country and hundreds of members with many eminent personalities and several expert members from across the globe. We are an internationally recognized association and a voting member of International Medical Informatics Association. Along with other partners such as HL7, IAMI organized the first ever interoperability workshop and connectathon in India which showcased how standards-compliant health technology solutions can seamlessly exchange data across systems and modalities. IAMI also hosted the 14th Asia Pacific Association for Medical Informatics (APAMI) Conference in 2014 and led several thematic sessions showcasing IAMI's expertise at APAMI 2018 during the Digital Health Week in Colombo. Many of our IAMI members are sought after speakers at international informatics conferences.
As a professional and academic organization, it has been our endeavour to increase our visibility with decision makers and the future generations. It is heartening to share that many young disruptive innovators seek mentoring and technical oversight from IAMI.
IAMI has a wealth of expertise and in its 25 years has contributed the growth of application of Informatics in improving health of the Indians. Each and every member of IAMI has in effect supported nation building in this process.
Dr. Oommen John