Biomedical informatics includes the application of computers, information networks and systems, and a growing body of scientific understanding to a range of problems. As skill in this field increases and as progress in virtually all modern biomedical science becomes more data intensive, informatics becomes a precious resource. Applications areas include access to knowledge, discovery in genomics, medical records, mathematical modeling, and bioengineering. At the same time, progress in informatics is deeply dependent on resolution of four major public policy issues: digital intellectual property rights, genetic testing protection, medical data privacy, and the role of biomedical data in the context of information warfare and homeland security.
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