IMIA Academic Representatieve:
Prof. dr. ir. Peter R. Rijnbeek
Head of the Department of Medical Informatics




Mission Statement:

Our mission is to generate reliable evidence from health data to enable better health decisions and better care. We do this by developing and applying novel quantitative and computational methods in close collaboration with academic partners, physicians, regulators and industry, and with a strong commitment to open science.

Description Research:

The department, lead by Johan van der Lei, has two complementary lines of research and a line dedicated to teaching.

  • The Health Data Science group, led by Peter Rijnbeek, enables data-driven healthcare by improving interoperability of data and building analytical pipelines for characterization, population-level effect estimation, and patient-level prediction at a global scale.
  • The Observational Data Analysis group, led by Katia Verhamme, focuses on the use of observational data to address real-world challenges in the drug safety domain, with an emphasis on combining databases from different countries.
  • The Education group, led by Peter Moorman, participates in the training of medical doctors, clinical technicians, and medical specialists.

Collaboration with other departments in the Erasmus MC provides us with opportunities to combine our methodological research with clinical challenges. We partner, for example, with the Department of General Practice to collect and analyze routine data from primary care and enrich data from primary care with environmental data such as air pollution. We collaborate with the Department of Epidemiology to address drug safety issues by combining the analysis of observational data created in routine care with the analysis of detailed data, including images and genetic data, prospectively collected in large population-based cohorts. We work with the Department of Pediatrics to focus on the acute care setting (triage) and study the management of children with asthma.

The department is involved in teaching medical students at the Erasmus MC. We want to prepare medical students for a future in which information technology and data science will have an ever-growing impact on medical practice. To understand the possible advantages of information technology, students need to understand the process that creates scientific knowledge. Students also need to appreciate the challenges they face when translating results from studies to day-to-day care.

The Department of Medical Informatics has a rich interdisciplinary background (e.g., medical doctors, electronical engineers, physicists, econometrists, epidemiologists, toxicologists, informaticians, and statisticians) and comes from a broad spectrum of countries (e.g., the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, England, Spain, India, China, Germany, etc.). This diversity is a big asset and stimulates interactions across cultures and disciplines.