The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) today announced that Israel’s Council for Higher Education has approved the Samson Health Informatics Master’s Program, which will enable the College to embark on crucial research and teaching activities in a cutting-edge field that aims to improve the quality of patient care by utilizing data as the basis for making better clinical decisions.
With the support of the Samson Charity Foundation, Israel’s first academic program in health informatics will expand from a certificate offering to a master’s degree, five years after JCT initially partnered with the University of Toronto to launch the program. JCT has also collaborated with Jerusalem-based Herzog Hospital and German universities on the program’s academic and research components.
Judith Shamian, former president of the International Council of Nurses and a JCT board member, first proposed the health informatics program as a way to help Israeli ingenuity meet a growing need in the healthcare system, through the vehicle of higher education.
“Although Israel is a world leader in innovations in health technology, health data, and health informatics, there was not previously an academic program that brought health and technology together to prepare individuals who can work in collaboration with experts in both of those areas to synergize and benefit the population, the country, and the health system,” Shamian said. “Thanks to the inspired collaboration of University of Toronto, the dedicated support of Canadian Friends of JCT, and the generosity of the Samson Charity Foundation, we are now able to take Israel’s first health informatics program to the next level in its quest to cultivate a new generation of professionals who will enhance the Jewish state’s healthcare system.”
As the present and future eras of health technology and innovation emphasize improving and advancing quality, safety, and service, it is incumbent upon health workers as well as entrepreneurs to get acquainted with new theoretical and practical bodies of knowledge and to learn innovative tools — most of which they did not study at the undergraduate level. Accordingly, Western countries such as the U.S. and Canada have developed health informatics graduate programs which rest on the understanding that multi-professional work requires interdisciplinary academic training.
In bringing health informatics training to Israel for the first time, JCT’s curriculum is designed for physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, emergency medical professionals, economics and management experts, engineers, behavioral science professionals, computer scientists, lawyers, and workers in other fields who are looking to expand their academic background and skills in today’s and tomorrow’s informatics and technological world. The program instills knowledge, tools, skills, and the language that enables hybrid communication between disciplines, allowing graduates to define and characterize health-related requirements from technology in order for them to provide optimal treatment, while maximizing technology in their workplace.
“In recent years, we have witnessed the entry of technology giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, IBM, and more into the field of health. There is no doubt that the health industry has a pressing need for the graduates of our program, whose skill set is well-adapted to the current and future health technological world,” said Sigal Shafran, Head of the Samson Health Informatics Master’s Program.
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