“Technology should translate to better patient care,” insists Raja Talati ’14 MS HI—especially as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
And Talati is well-equipped to do it.
He is a physician, teacher, researcher and medical information officer who is also chief of aerospace medicine in the Air Force Reserve at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
He has a master’s degree in health informatics from UIC and an MBA in health care analytics from University of South Florida.
As a primary care physician, he has practiced in many different settings: urgent care, juvenile detention, multidisciplinary outpatient clinics and now, during the pandemic, in hospitals.
In April 2020, he served a two-month deployment at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he and his Air Force team helped care for coronavirus patients. In July, he helped treat Florida’s surge of COVID-19 patients at a hospital near his practice in Ft. Pierce.
Everywhere Talati looks, he sees potential technology solutions for problems in health care practice.
“IT can and will help make health care better, but we haven’t found that sweet spot yet,” says Talati, clinician and chief medical information officer at Midway Specialty Care, a nonprofit practice for HIV and other infectious diseases with offices in Florida and Guyana.
Talati as high praise for the UIC health informatics program, with its strong foundation in IT governance and data security. The degree has helped expand his career, he says.
“I get to see patients, I get to play with computers, I get to create new knowledge. What more could somebody ask for?”