$$News and Reports$$

Jun. 13, 2017

The International Medical Informatics Association(IMIA) has concluded a lengthy election process of living leaders in health informatics worldwide, who have become the first class of the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI). The Academy will serve as an honor society that recognizes expertise in biomedical and health informatics internationally and membership will be one of the highest honors in the international field of biomedical and health informatics. 

The Academy will serve as an international forum for peers in biomedical and health informatics and will play an important role in exchanging knowledge, providing education and training, and producing policy documents, e.g., recommendations and position statements. 

The first class of the Academy will be inducted during the 16th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics in Hangzhou, China from 21st -25th August 2017 and will include Prof. Yuval Shahar, a member of BGU's Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering and the founder and head of BGU's Medical Informatics Research Center.

A similar body has existed for many years in the United States - The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) – which was The American Medical InformaticsAssociation (AMIA). In 2005, Shahar became an international associate of the AMCI, the first Israeli to do so.

Prof. Shahar received his MD from the Hebrew University and his PhD in medical information sciences from Stanford University. He also completed a master’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Bar Ilan University and a second master’s degree in computer science from Yale University, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence. 

In 1985, Shahar was appointed head of the Medical Computing Section of the Israeli Defense Force, working on a strategic decision-support system connecting 32 hospitals. His first relevant journal paper appeared in 1991, and he has made continuous contributions ever since. He has served as the founding director of BGU's Multidisciplinary Medical Informatics Research Center since 2000. 

Prof. Shahar has developed many ideas important to computer based decision support and reasoning about clinical data that have become influential in the informatics community. His work on temporal abstraction of clinical data is well known in both the informatics community and the computer-science community and has been incorporated in a number of deployed applications. His work on a computational knowledge- based framework known as RESUME for automated abstraction of time-oriented data into a meaningful, time interval– based concepts system is at the core of the query and interpretation module of Stanford University’s EON system for guideline-based care, and has become the backbone of several new projects that Prof. Shahar has started at BGU for mediation of temporal queries to patient databases over the Web for diagnosis, monitoring, therapy, and clinical research.

He has also made substantial contributions to the field of computer-based clinical guidelines, is a member of the editorial board of several informatics journals, and an organizer of international symposia on artificial intelligence in clinical care. In recognition of the broad scope of impact of his academic efforts, the College honors Prof. Shahar as an international associate. 

The IMIA is the world body for health and biomedical informatics and an ‘association of associations’. IMIA provides informatics leadership and expertise to the multidisciplinary health-focused community and to policy makers, to enable the transformation of healthcare in accord with the world-wide vision of improving the health of the world population.