CS 6440: Intro to Health Informatics

Course Creator and Instructor

Mark Braunstein
Mark Braunstein
Creator, Instructor

Teaching Assistant

Tia Pope
Tia Pope
Lead Teaching Assistant


Introduction to Health Informatics (CS 6440) is designed so that students with a variety of backgrounds can gain basic proficiency in health informatics. Health informatics encompasses the application of computing to healthcare delivery; population and public health; community-based clinical research; and the potential for big data and analytics to transform the field. This is distinct from the related field of bioinformatics, which explores the role of computing in understanding the genomic and proteomic processes within cells.

During CS 6440 students will follow a make-believe patient, Marla Dixon, whose digital record they will use to complete a variety of exercises and projects designed to provide a hands-on experience with state-of-the-art health informatics tools and systems. They will apply the knowledge and skills they learn to work with a team of their classmates on a real world clinical challenge.  For more information about elements learned in this course, please download the basic CS 6440 Intro to Health Informatics Course Syllabus.


Students must have a basic computer science background. No previous knowledge of health informatics required. Any student qualified enough to be admitted to OMS CS—and willing to put in the necessary time for course work—should be prepared for this course, though students should refer to Technical Requirements below for the relatively limited technical proficiencies necessary for success.

Lesson Preview


  • Students will have the option to complete and submit Udacity quiz questions as they proceed through the course.
  • Each student must successfully complete and submit all course exercises.
  • There will be short, bi-weekly graded quizzes.
  • Each student must join and actively participate in the assigned team project as a programmer, designer or project manager.

Required Course Readings

There are no required readings for this course. Students will have the option to purchase (at a discount) and to read the corresponding chapters of the professor’s text, Contemporary Health Informatics, as the course proceeds. There will be no assigned readings from this text. Additionally, there will be optional supplemental readings and papers, that students will provided. 

Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Individual students should have C++/C# or Java / Javascript proficiency. At least one team member must have proficiency in web programming languages such as PHP, Ruby, Java or .NET (C#), or any web development languages.
  • Browser and connection speed: An up-to-date version of Chrome or Firefox is strongly recommended. We also support Internet Explorer 9 and the desktop versions of Internet Explorer 10 and above (not the metro versions). 2+ Mbps recommended; at minimum 0.768 Mbps download speed
  • Operating system: - PC: Windows 7 or higher with latest updates installed - Mac: OS X 10.6 or higher with latest updates installed - Linux: Any recent distribution that has the supported browsers installed

Other Info

Academic Integrity

All Georgia Tech students are expected to uphold the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code.