Continuous population growth and socioeconomic development have called for an urgent attention to the demand on personal and public healthcare. Hong Kong government has substantially increased expenditure on healthcare in recent years (http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200802/27/P200802270145.htm), and identified private healthcare service as one of the six key knowledge-based industries needed by our city. (http://www.hketony.gov.hk/ny/e-newsletter/09june/TFEC.htm) e-Health will play an important role, as evidenced by the government’s close to a billion HK dollars investment to develop electronic health record system for linking up hospitals and clinics in Hong Kong.
In response to the growing need of Health IT professionals and expertise, Department of Computer Science at HKBU, with the help of Hospital Authority, has taken the first mover strategy starting from Fall 2009 in offering two Health IT related streams in our BSc and MSc programmes, which are by far the only related post-secondary programmes in Hong Kong. Also, in response to the growing complexity of the healthcare system, a research group on Health Informatics was formed with focus on research projects aiming to advancing Health IT from infrastructure level to analytics and decision support level for better healthcare management have been started, echoing the “promoting good health” theme of RGC’s recently announced theme-based research scheme.