Founded in 1976, the European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) is the leading organisation in medical informatics in Europe, representing 32 countries. EFMI is a non-profit organisation concerned with the theory and practice of information science and technology within health and health science in a European context. EFMI's objectives are:
• To advance international co-operation and dissemination of information in medical informatics at the European level;
• To promote high standards in the application of medical informatics;
• To promote research and development in medical informatics;
• To encourage high standards in education in medical informatics; and
• To function as the autonomous European Regional Council of IMIA, the International Medical Informatics Association.
In recent years, Europe has seen major investments in research infrastructure for harnessing the potential of routinely collected health data. In the UK, this has led to the establishment in 2013 of The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research. Funded by the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) and nine other funders, The Farr Institute is comprised of 21 academic institutions, two MRC units and public bodies such as Public Health England, Public Health Wales and NHS National Services Scotland. Together they form a national research collaboration led by four regional centres: Farr Institute CIPHER, Farr Institute HeRC, Farr Institute London, and Farr Institute Scotland. The Farr Institute aims to be a global leader in health informatics research through scientific discovery and the enhancement of patient and public health. By analysing data from multiple sources and collaborating with the government, public sector, academia and industry, The Farr Institute will unleash the value of vast sources of clinical, biological, population and environmental data for public benefit.
The Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) conference, organised by EFMI, is a key event in the EFMI calendar. The first conference took place in Cambridge, UK in 1978 and now takes place annually. The Farr Institute has also been establishing its own conference series, with the first Farr International Conference taking place in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 2015, followed in 2016 by a second conference held in Swansea, Wales in collaboration with the International Population Data Linkage Network. For 2017, the decision was made to combine the power and established reputational excellence of EFMI with the emerging and innovative research within The Farr Institute community. EFMI, The Farr Institute, and the British Computer Society have worked together to organise Informatics for Health 2017, a joint conference that combines MIE and the Farr International Conference, creating a scientific forum that allows these two communities to share knowledge, insights, and experience, to advance cross-disciplinary thinking, and to stimulate creativity. The conference took place in the city of Manchester in the UK from the 24th to the 26th of April.
The conference received a total of 404 submissions, in the form of both full papers and abstracts, for oral presentation at the conference. The current volume presents the 116 full papers that were presented at the conference, with contributions from 28 different countries. Abstracts that were presented at the conference can be found in Scott, P.J. et al. (2017). Informatics for Health 2017: Advancing both science and practice, J. Innov. Health Inform., 24(1).
We would like to thank all of those who contributed to these proceedings and the success of this important event, in particular the authors who chose to share their work and the reviewers who generously gave their time and expertise. Special thanks go to the Local Organising Committee for their work in organising such a great event.
Philip J. Scott