MAM05 - Biomedical research & Evaluation methodology

Biomedical research & Evaluation methodology

Catalogue number



Language of the course




Time period(s)

Sem. 1Sem. 2

Educational institute

Medical Informatics


Is part of



At the end of the course the student:

  1. Knows how to classify different research designs for health informatics evaluation studies: 
    • Formative versus summative evaluation 
    • Quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods      
    • Objectivistic and Subjectivistic evaluation    
  2. Recognizes types of bias related to those different research designs and knows how to avoid them 
  3. Can define different types of outcome measures to evaluate effectiveness, efficiency and usability of an health informatics intervention; 
  4. Is able to describe the meaning and value of triangulation; 
  5. Is able  to design an evaluation study;; 
  6. Can judge the completeness of an evaluation study report; 
  7. Knows and can apply the following Health technology assessment and cost studies concepts : 
    • QALYs and DALY's    
    • Quality of life measurement    
    • Cost-minimisation, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility analyses 
  8. Understands:
    • Interaction design basics and rules to enhance the usability of interactive computer systems.
    • Human computer interaction models and the translations that take place between a user and an interactive computer system.
    • The (strenghts and weaknesses of the) main usability evaluation methods for assessing the usability of interactive computer application 
  9. Understands and can apply:
    • Usability Inspection: Heuristic Evaluation and Cognitive Walkthrough 
    • Usability testing: Think aloud methodology and Beta testing 
    • Quantitative measures of system usability 
  10. Has skills in designing, performing and reporting on a usability study: 
    1. Design of a usability testplan of an interactive healthcare application 
    2. Conduct of an usability test of an interactive healthcare application (Morae software) 
    3. Report on an usability test of an interactive healthcare application 

More information

Contact information
mw. dr. N.F. de Keizer Department of Medical Informatics AMC,


New interventions in health care, medical as well as ICT interventions, should be thoroughly evaluated on their effect on health care before they can be implemented and used on a regular basis. Effects of these interventions can be subdivided into effectiveness (does it work), efficiency (the relation between effects and costs) and usability (are people willing and able to use it). Each of these aspects can be evaluated by using different evaluation designs (e.g. RCTs, quasi-experimental clinical trials, observational and case studies) and different outcome measures (e.g. adherence to guidelines, mortality, cost of care and user satisfaction). 

ICT can often be regarded as a diagnostic or therapeutic intervention and is getting more attention in health care because of the promises that ICT will improve effectiveness and efficiency of health care. Physicians, nurses and other health care workers are increasingly supported by technical devices to diagnose and treat patients. Furthermore, due to a tendency towards multidisciplinary care communication between health care workers is becoming more and more important. Also patients themselves and parties outside the direct patient care process such as government and health insurance companies feel the need for more information to better control the care process. ICT is often regarded as a solution for this. To accept or reject this hypothesis the effect of ICT in health care need to be evaluated. 

The Master course 'Biomedical research & evaluation methodology' aims to learn students the aspects and importance of evaluation studies in health care. After this course students should be able to recognize, assess as well as to apply methods to evaluate the effects of a medical Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention in health care. Similarities and differences between approaches used to evaluate medical interventions and ICT interventions will be discussed. 

Recommended prior knowledge

Bachelor course 2.2 Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.


On Monday morning theoretical classes will provide students basic theory about one or more subjects which has to be studied and practiced during half a week based on textbooks, scientific papers and exercises. Some Monday afternoons will be used for practicals. On Friday morning or afternoon the students will present the results of the exercises and may ask for feedback of the tutor.


Class times can be found in the course schedule at

Study materials

  • Syllabus with scientific journal papers 
  • Evaluation Methods in Medical Informatics (Computers and Medicine) - Friedman, Charles P./ Wyatt, Jeremy C. (Edt) Second edition, 2006 Springer ISBN 10:0-387-25889-2 (chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9). 
  • Dix A, Finlay J, Abowd G, Beale R. Human Computer Interaction. Third edition, Pearson Education, 2004- ISBN 0-13-046109-1 (parts of chapters 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9). 
  • Drummond M.F., Sculpher M.J., Torrance G.W., O'Brien B., Stoddart G.L., Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes, third edition, 2005 (chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). 


The exercises should be adequately finished (score can be sufficient/insufficient) and form the basis to learn all study material for the theoretical exam. At the end an overall exam will test the students on the theory discussed in this course. This exam should also be adequately finished (assessment score should be minimal 6.0).