Chapter 2 introduced the concepts of data, information, and knowledge-oriented systems. It was suggested that knowledge applications were an area of research and that the technology required to support the data and information applications existed and was well understood. This view is summarized in Table 9.1. It suggests that for data and information applications, advances will be made by identifying medical and health care problems and engineering the computer systems to implement solutions. The research will emphasize biomedicine and health care; implementation will be primarily an engineering activity. Knowledge- oriented applications, however, are still topics of active research. The paradigms vary from the rigorous application of mathematic principles to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. This diversity of approaches is not without emotion, hyperbole, or controversy. Yet, as will be shown, this emphasis on medical knowledge processing identifies a broad research area that addresses common problems using different methodologies. From this activity, a science of medical informatics should emerge.
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