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Research Trajectory in Digital Health - A Retrospective Study on a Masters Programme in Biomedical Informatics in Sri Lanka

Author:

Pandula Anilpriya Siribaddana

Postgraduate Instutute of Medicine, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: In most Low- and Middle-Income Countries, research output related to
digital health is not adequate. In some instances, the output from the established research programmes may not match the needs. In Sri Lanka, a masters degree programme in Biomedical Informatics (“masters”) aimed at medical doctors from the state health sector is a key contributor to the research output in digital health. The programme which is conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine has trained nearly 180 medical doctors. This study intends to understand the evolving research output of the above programme and the causalities for the evolution from 2011 to 2020.

 

Method: The study gathered publicly available data pertaining to theses submitted by
graduates of the masters from the library of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. It also gathered historical data through published records and from authors own recollections about the evolution of the programme until 2020 from its inception. An interpretivist approach was used in analysing the data and deriving the conclusions.

 

Results and Analysis: The study identified 166 research titles published as dissertations by the graduates of the programme from 2011 to 2020. These research titles belong to six key areas in digital health; public health informatics, clinical informatics, policy and governance, education informatics, bioinformatics, and pharmacy informatics. Yearly research output varied depending on the number of students in the batch and due to other factors including available opportunities, changing programme priorities, funding opportunities, trainer capacity and evolving digital health landscape of the country. While the research output was dominated by ‘policy and governance’ and ‘bioinformatics’ related research at the beginning, the output is currently dominated by ‘public health informatics’ and ‘clinical informatics’ related research.

 

Conclusion: The research output from the programme indicates a strong focus on public health and clinical informatics related research. Evolving health information systems may have contributed to the growing interest as it creates opportunities for further research.

How to Cite: Siribaddana, P.A., 2020. Research Trajectory in Digital Health - A Retrospective Study on a Masters Programme in Biomedical Informatics in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics, 11(2), pp.1–6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljbmi.v11i2.8101
Published on 31 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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