A proposed national research and development agenda for population health informatics: summary recommendations from a national expert workshop

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Jan;24(1):2-12. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocv210. Epub 2016 Mar 27.


Objective: The Johns Hopkins Center for Population Health IT hosted a 1-day symposium sponsored by the National Library of Medicine to help develop a national research and development (R&D) agenda for the emerging field of population health informatics (PopHI).

Material and methods: The symposium provided a venue for national experts to brainstorm, identify, discuss, and prioritize the top challenges and opportunities in the PopHI field, as well as R&D areas to address these.

Results: This manuscript summarizes the findings of the PopHI symposium. The symposium participants' recommendations have been categorized into 13 overarching themes, including policy alignment, data governance, sustainability and incentives, and standards/interoperability.

Discussion: The proposed consensus-based national agenda for PopHI consisted of 18 priority recommendations grouped into 4 broad goals: (1) Developing a standardized collaborative framework and infrastructure, (2) Advancing technical tools and methods, (3) Developing a scientific evidence and knowledge base, and (4) Developing an appropriate framework for policy, privacy, and sustainability. There was a substantial amount of agreement between all the participants on the challenges and opportunities for PopHI as well as on the actions that needed to be taken to address these.

Conclusion: PopHI is a rapidly growing field that has emerged to address the population dimension of the Triple Aim. The proposed PopHI R&D agenda is comprehensive and timely, but should be considered only a starting-point, given that ongoing developments in health policy, population health management, and informatics are very dynamic, suggesting that the agenda will require constant monitoring and updating.

Keywords: informatics agenda; population health informatics; public health informatics.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Research* / methods
  • Health Services Research* / standards
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Population Health*
  • United States