What’s Past is Prologue: A Scoping Review of Recent Public and Global Health Informatics Literature

Supplementary Files

Appendix A

How to Cite

Dixon, B. E., Pina, J., Kharrazi, H., Gharghabi, F., & Richards, J. (2015). What’s Past is Prologue: A Scoping Review of Recent Public and Global Health Informatics Literature. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v7i2.5931


Objective: To categorize and describe the public health informatics (PHI) and global health informatics (GHI) literature between 2012 and 2014.

Methods: We conducted a semi-systematic review of articles published between January 2012 and September 2014 where information and communications technologies (ICT) was a primary subject of the study or a main component of the study methodology. Additional inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to filter PHI and GHI articles from the larger biomedical informatics domain. Articles were identified using MEDLINE as well as personal bibliographies from members of the American Medical Informatics Association PHI and GHI working groups.

Results: A total of 85 PHI articles and 282 GHI articles were identified. While systems in PHI continue to support surveillance activities, we identified a shift towards support for prevention, environmental health, and public health care services. Furthermore, articles from the U.S. reveal a shift towards PHI applications at state and local levels. GHI articles focused on telemedicine, mHealth and eHealth applications. The development of adequate infrastructure to support ICT remains a challenge, although we observed a small but growing set of articles that measure the impact of ICT on clinical outcomes.

Discussion: There is evidence of growth with respect to both implementation of information systems within the public health enterprise as well as a widening of scope within each informatics discipline. Yet the articles also illuminate the need for more primary research studies on what works and what does not as both searches yielded small numbers of primary, empirical articles.

Conclusion: While the body of knowledge around PHI and GHI continues to mature, additional studies of higher quality are needed to generate the robust evidence base needed to support continued investment in eHealth by governmental health agencies.
Authors own copyright of their articles appearing in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. Readers may copy articles without permission of the copyright owner(s), as long as the author and OJPHI are acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes. Share-alike: when posting copies or adaptations of the work, release the work under the same license as the original. For any other use of articles, please contact the copyright owner. The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work, including uses infringing the above license. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.