Defining the role of a bioinformatician

30 June 2014

Bioinformaticians are an increasingly important element of the healthcare workforce. As demand for their expertise grows, healthcare commissioners and providers need to consider how best to recruit, train, integrate, and manage bioinformaticians to ensure UK health services can realise the benefits of the ‘big data’ revolution.

This briefing note explains what different forms of bioinformatics are, examines the varied roles of the expert bioinformatician in the delivery of genomic medicine, and questions whether the time may be right to establish new professional accreditation in this specialist area.

It also poses important questions that policy makers and health service providers need to ask themselves in order to recruit the right bioinformaticians to meet their needs and ensure their skills are put to the best use to improve patient care.