Yearb Med Inform 2009; 18(01): 01-06
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1638628
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart

IMIA and its Members: On Balancing Continuity and Transition in Biomedical and Health Informatics

Reinhold Haux (President of IMIA 2007-2010)
Peter L. Reichertz
1  Institute for Medical Informatics, University of Braunschweig Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
07 March 2018 (online)


Objective To report on major past (2008) and future (2009 and beyond) activities of IMIA, the International Medical Informatics Association.

Method Summarizing discussions and planning activities within IMIA, in particular with respect to its Board and General Assembly meetings in 2008; looking at recent progress of biomedical and health informatics by commenting on IMIA Yearbook surveys and best paper selections.

Results Major recent IMIA efforts include preparatory work for Medinfo 2010, global partnership activities in collaboration with WHO, planning activities for shifting to a biennial Medinfo cycle and setting up an IMIA office, all in accordance with IMIA’s longterm strategic plan ‘Towards IMIA 2015’. The IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics, published annually since 1992, can be regarded as an important observatory for progress in health and biomedical informatics. Future activities include conference events in 2009 and IMIA’s world congress, Medinfo 2010, finalizing a revision of IMIA’s recommendations on education in biomedical and health informatics, and publication activities to stimulate the transfer of knowledge from theory to practice

Conclusions Since its inception in 1967, IMIA has evolved into a truly global organization, in a world where medical informatics has gained in significance and importance for supporting high-quality, efficient health care and for research in biomedicine and in the health sciences. Now in its 5th decade, IMIA’s responsibilities, as well as opportunities, as a global, independent organization have both increased. Finding the right balance between continuity and transition, in order to appropriately support, stimulate, and, to some extent enable high-quality translational communication, research, education, and practice in biomedical and health informatics is a key IMIA challenge.