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Medical informatics has expanded rapidly over the past couple of years.
After decades of development of information systems designed primarily for physicians and other healthcare managers and professionals, there is an increasing interest in reaching consumers and patients directly through computers and telecommunications systems.
Consumer health informatics is the branch of medical informatics that analyses consumers ' needs for information ; studies and implements methods of making information accessible to consumers ; and models and integrates consumers ' preferences into medical information systems.
Consumer informatics stands at the crossroads of other disciplines, such as nursing informatics, public health, health promotion, health education, library science, and communication science, and is perhaps the most challenging and rapidly expanding field in medical informatics ; it is paving the way for health care in the information age.

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