WISH is proud to provide both opening and closing keynote speeches by Ben Shneiderman and Ted Shortliffe.

Opening Keynote Teaming Up to Improve Wellness and Healthcare Outcomes”
Ben Shneiderman, PhD. University of Maryland–College Park

Closing keynote Informatics and Computer Science: Assuring the Twain Shall Meet
Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, FACMI. Arizona State University, Columbia University, and New York Academy of Medicine


OPENING KEYNOTE  “Teaming Up to Improve Wellness and Healthcare Outcomes”
Ben Shneiderman, PhD.  University of Maryland–College Park

Abstract: Effective medical care depends on well-designed user interfaces that enable patients, clinicians, and public health care analysts to benefit from the increasing abundance of information that supports decision-making.  Novel strategies in information visualization can present patients with more comprehensible personal histories and lab test reports.  Cognitively effective presentations are basic, but motivating patients to adhere to treatment regimes, stop smoking, or lose weight remains a substantial challenge.  Persuasive designs and social media strategies are being tried, but reliable theories and practices are still elusive.

Improved interface designs and visual analytics processes are allowing clinicians and public health care analysts to explore voluminous data in systematic yet flexible ways, so as to derive insights, make treatment decisions, and establish public health policies.

This talk begins with commercial success stories such as, and and explores their application to medical informatics.  Then we look at research tools for electronic health records to find specified event sequences ( and to view compact summaries of millions of patient histories (  Demonstrations also cover visual interfaces to support clinicians in understanding patient status, doing medication reconciliation (Twinlist, tracking medical lab tests (, and preventing wrong-patient errors.  However, much work remains to promote interoperability and safe user interfaces for electronic health records systems.

Community health data initiatives are encouraging greater involvement of consumer groups, government agency staffers, and medical researchers.  While privacy protection is a fundamental requirement, greater access to patient histories and treatment outcomes has the potential to improve healthcare quality, while lowering costs.

BIO:  BEN SHNEIDERMAN ( is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory ( at the University of Maryland.  He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Prof. Shneiderman is the co-author with Catherine Plaisant of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (5th ed., 2010)  With Stu Card and Jock Mackinlay, he co-authored Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (1999).  His book Leonardo’s Laptop appeared in October 2002 (MIT Press) and won the IEEE book award for Distinguished Literary Contribution.  His latest book, with Derek Hansen and Marc Smith, is Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL (, 2010).


CLOSING KEYNOTE – “Informatics and Computer Science:  Assuring the Twain Shall Meet”

Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, FACMI. Arizona State University, Columbia University, and New York Academy of Medicine

ABSTRACT:  The discipline of informatics had its roots in computer science, although over the years a variety of other component sciences have become central to the field as well (such as decision science, cognitive science, and information sciences).  With the emergence of a vibrant clinical systems industry, and the growing involvement of health professionals at informatics meetings, cultural differences between computer science and biomedical informatics, even in academic environments, have been recognized.  In this talk I will discuss the relationship between the two fields and the strong reasons for strengthening their ties.  The WISH meeting is one example of the kinds of collaborative efforts that can be forged between the informatics and computer science communities, and it highlights an area of research and practice that warrants much greater attention by the health information technology industry.  Academic informatics has much to learn from research departments in computer science, and opportunities for collaboration are myriad.  Informatics has achieved great successes through research contributions over several decades, now reflected in the thriving commercial marketplace for electronic health records and other informatics tools.  That very success, coupled with changes in the ability of government to support research at past levels, is forcing a reconsideration of the directions and emphases for informatics academic units.  I will discuss those forces and propose areas of emphasis that will strengthen the academic discipline as it evolves.  One focus will be on the role of academic informaticians as practitioners of informatics as well as their efforts as researchers and educators.

BIO: Ted Shortliffe ( is a Scholar in Residence at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. He also holds academic positions as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University and a Clinical Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Senior Advisor for Health Solutions at Arizona State University. Previously he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Medical Informatics Association (2009-2012).  He has also held academic appointments at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston (2009-2011), the University of Arizona (2007-2009), Columbia University (2000-2007), and Stanford University (1979-2000).  Both a computer scientist and a physician, Dr. Shortliffe is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  He has also been elected to fellowship in the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.  A Master of the American College of Physicians, he received the ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award in 1976 and ACMI’s Morris F. Collen Award in 2006.  Currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics and of a well-known textbook on Biomedical Informatics, Dr. Shortliffe has authored over 300 articles and books in the fields of biomedical computing and artificial intelligence.

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