Introduction: The Informatics for Health congress, 24-26 April 2017, in Manchester, UK, brought together the Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) conference and the Farr Institute International Conference. This special issue of the Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics contains 113 presentation abstracts and 149 poster abstracts from the congress.
Discussion: The twin programmes of "Big Data" and "Digital Health" are not always joined up by coherent policy and investment priorities. Substantial global investment in health IT and data science has led to sound progress but highly variable outcomes. Society needs an approach that brings together the science and the practice of health informatics. The goal is multi-level Learning Health Systems that consume and intelligently act upon both patient data and organizational intervention outcomes.
Conclusion: Informatics for Health demonstrated the art of the possible, seen in the breadth and depth of our contributions. We call upon policy makers, research funders and programme leaders to learn from this joined-up approach.
Keywords: Computing methodologies; Informatics; Medical Records Systems, Computerized; Policy; Research.