Online Journal of Public Health Informatics

A leading peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to the dissemination of high-quality research and innovation in the field of public health informatics.

Editor-in-Chief:

Edward K. Mensah PhD, MPhil, Associate Professor Emeritus of Health Economics and Informatics, Health Policy and Administration Division, School of Public Health, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), USA


The Online Journal of Public Health Informatics (OJPHI) aims to promote the application of informatics to improve public health research, education and policy. We welcome original research articles, reviews, and perspectives/viewpoints that cover a broad range of topics related to public health informatics.

OJPHI has been published since 2009, but from 2023 onwards it will be published by JMIR Publications. Volumes published prior to 2023 can be found here

All papers are rigorously peer-reviewed, copyedited, and XML-typeset. 

The Online Journal of Public Health Informatics is indexed in PubMedPubMed Central (PMC)DOAJ, Sherpa/Romeo, and Scopus.

Recent Articles

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Behavioral Surveillance for Public Health

A partograph is a pictorial representation of the relationship between cervical dilatation and the time used to diagnose prolonged and obstructed labor. However, the utilization of paper-based partograph is low and it is prone to documentation errors, which can be avoided with the use of electronic partographs. There is only limited information on the proportion of intention to use mobile-based partographs and its predictors.

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Shared Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Systems

Post–COVID-19 condition (colloquially known as “long COVID-19”) characterized as postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 has no universal clinical case definition. Recent efforts have focused on understanding long COVID-19 symptoms, and electronic health record (EHR) data provide a unique resource for understanding this condition. The introduction of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code U09.9 for “Post COVID-19 condition, unspecified” to identify patients with long COVID-19 has provided a method of evaluating this condition in EHRs; however, the accuracy of this code is unclear.

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Shared Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Systems

The rapidly increasing availability of medical data in electronic health records (EHRs) may contribute to the concept of learning health systems, allowing for better personalized care. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was chosen as the use case in this study.

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Population and Public Health Informatics

In Japan, long-distance domestic travel was banned while the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain was dominant under the first declared state of emergency from March 2020 until the end of May 2020. Subsequently, the “Go To Travel” campaign travel subsidy policy was activated, allowing long-distance domestic travel, until the second state of emergency as of January 7, 2021. The effects of this long-distance domestic travel ban on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity have not been adequately evaluated.

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Public Health

Machine learning (ML) approaches could expand the usefulness and application of implementation science methods in clinical medicine and public health settings. The aim of this viewpoint is to introduce a roadmap for applying ML techniques to address implementation science questions, such as predicting what will work best, for whom, under what circumstances, and with what predicted level of support, and what and when adaptation or deimplementation are needed. We describe how ML approaches could be used and discuss challenges that implementation scientists and methodologists will need to consider when using ML throughout the stages of implementation.

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Veterinary Public Health Informatics

Technological advancement has led to the growth and rapid increase of tuberculosis (TB) medical data generated from different health care areas, including diagnosis. Prioritizing better adoption and acceptance of innovative diagnostic technology to reduce the spread of TB significantly benefits developing countries. Trained TB-detection rats are used in Tanzania and Ethiopia for operational research to complement other TB diagnostic tools. This technology has increased new TB case detection owing to its speed, cost-effectiveness, and sensitivity.

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Social Determinants of Public Health using ICT

This viewpoint aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of vaping from various perspectives that contribute to the invention, development, spread, and consequences of e-cigarette products and vaping. Our analysis showed that the specific characteristics of e-cigarette products as well as marketing strategies, especially social media marketing, fostered the spread of vaping and the subsequent effects on human health and toxicity. We analyzed the components of e-cigarette devices and e-liquids, including the latest variants whose impacts were often overlooked. The different forms of nicotine, including salts and freebase nicotine, tobacco-derived nicotine, tobacco-free nicotine, and cooling agents (WS3 and WS23), have brought more choices for vapers along with more ways for e-cigarette manufacturers to advertise false understandings and present a greater threat to vapers’ health. Our work emphasized the products of brands that have gained significant influence recently, which are contributing to severe public health issues. On the other hand, we also discussed in detail the toxicity of e-liquid components and proposed a toxicity mechanism. We also noticed that nicotine and other chemicals in e-liquids promote each other’s negative effects through the oxidative stress and inflammatory nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathway, a mechanism leading to pulmonary symptoms and addiction. The impact of government regulations on the products themselves, including flavor bans or regulations, has been limited. Therefore, we proposed further interventions or harm reduction strategies from a public health perspective.

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Reviews

Health literacy (HL) is the ability to make informed decisions using health information. As health data and information availability increase due to online clinic notes and patient portals, it is important to understand how HL relates to social determinants of health (SDoH) and the place of informatics in mitigating disparities.

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Population and Public Health Informatics

Hypertension is the most prevalent risk factor for mortality globally. Uncontrolled hypertension is associated with excess morbidity and mortality, and nearly one-half of individuals with hypertension do not have the condition under control. Data from electronic health record (EHR) systems may be useful for community hypertension surveillance, filling a gap in local public health departments’ community health assessments and supporting the public health data modernization initiatives currently underway. To identify patients with hypertension, computable phenotypes are required. These phenotypes leverage available data elements—such as vitals measurements and medications—to identify patients diagnosed with hypertension. However, there are multiple methodologies for creating a phenotype, and the identification of which method most accurately reflects real-world prevalence rates is needed to support data modernization initiatives.

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Social Determinants of Public Health using ICT

Social determinants of health (SDoH) have been described by the World Health Organization as the conditions in which individuals are born, live, work, and age. These conditions can be grouped into 3 interrelated levels known as macrolevel (societal), mesolevel (community), and microlevel (individual) determinants. The scope of SDoH expands beyond the biomedical level, and there remains a need to connect other areas such as economics, public policy, and social factors.

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Shared Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Systems

Improving the health outcomes of populations of individuals through population health management requires the use of electronic health records that can exchange real-time digital information using an accurate and complete shared care record that is accessible to health care providers, services, and patients.

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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Public Health

Health systems rapidly adopted telemedicine as an alternative health care delivery modality in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demographic factors, such as age and gender, may play a role in patients’ choice of a phone or video visit. However, it is unknown whether there are differences in utilization between phone and video visits.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

There are no preprints available for open peer-review at this time. Please check back later.

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