At its heart, informatics is the science of information, including its storage and retrieval. Medical imaging is inherently dependent on large volumes of data, so informatics is essential to keep healthcare institutions functioning. However, a precise definition of imaging informatics is problematic given that it is so broad and crosses domains with so many other fields, including but not limited to:

  • Clinical Care
  • Biomedical and Clinical Informatics
  • Research
  • Quality improvement
  • Data Science
  • Software and device development
  • Information technology

Whether through the development of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms or ensuring the implementation of efficient software design, imaging informaticists function on the principle that healthcare providers paired with technology are greater than the sum of the parts. Given imaging informaticists’ intimate relationship with medical imaging data, they are essential contributors to curating datasets, developing algorithms and software, and implementing AI applications.

In the i3 course from SIIM, Dr. Prasanth Prasanna, MD, a radiologist, and imaging informaticist at the University of Utah, defines imaging informatics as “everything about radiology that isn’t medical science. From psychology to ergonomics to AI programming and ethics, we get to learn and apply information from just about every other discipline to improve patient care and their experience in the health care system. This is one of the best fields in medicine for lifelong learners.”

Medical imaging and, therefore, imaging informatics has been quickly growing beyond radiology in recent years. When one imagines imaging-centric specialties, cardiology, pathology, obstetrics, and gynecology may immediately come to mind. However, anything that utilizes point-of-care ultrasound, takes visible light photographs, or uses endoscopes or fluoroscopy is also represented. As imaging informaticists’ requirements and knowledge base grow, it is ever more critical to have representation from all these different “ologies.”

Imaging informaticists are not just PACS administrators and radiologists. Imaging Informaticists are a diverse group of:

  • Scientists
  • Developers
  • Vendors
  • Medical physicists
  • Imaging IT professionals
  • Clinicians
  • Trainees and students

SIIM Courses

Focused as a prelude to NIIC-RAD; emphasizes key knowledge transfer between the learner’s current knowledge state and the minimum understanding needed to participate in the live lectures

Focused as a philosophical discussion on the foundations of imaging informatics in medicine; pathways and opportunities over traditional knowledge transfer. Segues into SIIM engagement.

How to Get Certified

  • ABII Certification
  • Clinical Informatics
  • SIIM Certificates
  • Others

If you are a beginner and are interested in getting your feet wet, SIIM offers several great ways to start. The Landscape of Imaging Informatics course “provides learners with an overview of the imaging informatics profession, detailing how potential learners can leverage their technical, clinical, or soft skills to join the ranks of global imaging informaticist.”

SIIM also offers the Integrating Imaging Informatics course (I3), which is an “interactive, high-level introduction to the imaging informatics field.” For an even deeper dive, SIIM and RSNA have paired up to create the National Imaging Informatics Course – Radiology, a week-long course offered twice a year.

Those looking to jump-start their career in imaging informatics are encouraged to participate in the Imaging Informatics Professional Bootcamp with the ultimate goal of becoming a Certified Imaging Informatics Professional (CIIP) offered through the American Board of Imaging Informatics (ABII). The Bootcamp is an intensive overview of the fundamentals of imaging informatics. Becoming a CIIP is a way for imaging informaticists to demonstrate that they are professionals with the foundational knowledge of imaging informatics.

Contributors

Morgan P. McBee, MD
Medical University of South Carolina

Erik Storm, DO, MBI, CIIP
Salem VA Medical Center

Written by

SIIM Education Committee

Publish date

Nov 11, 2022

Topic

  • Communication
  • Training

Media Type

  • News & Announcements

Audience Type

  • Clinician
  • Developer
  • Imaging IT
  • Researcher/Scientist
  • Student Member in Training (SMIT)

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