International Experts Discuss Artificial Intelligence and Precision Nursing at Virtual Informatics Symposium


Experts representing various countries and universities brought their knowledge together to present a robust program on informatics, precision nursing and artificial intelligence for the University of Florida College of Nursing’s 2021 Rita Kobb Nursing and Health Informatics National Symposium. Due to COVID-19, the symposium was held virtually, which allowed easier access for participants to attend from across the country and receive up to five nursing continuing education contact hours.

More than 400 individuals participated in the virtual symposium on Feb. 19 themed “Innovations and Data-Powered Health: Precision Nursing at the Point of Care.” Sessions included topics on big data and data-powered nursing, digital care delivery and clinical translation, natural language processing, and using technology and precision nursing in delivery of care.  

The opening keynote, delivered by Patricia Flatley Brennan, PhD, RN, the director of the National Library of Medicine, brought an overview of how the library serves as a partner in providing personalized patient care and accelerating the discovery of nursing knowledge. Brennan also discussed the role of artificial intelligence in the 21st century.

“Artificial Intelligence is going to be a big part of 21st century care,” Brennan said. “The National Library of Medicine recognizes that supporting 21st century care means we need to support scientists in the discovery, clinicians in the delivery and patients in the receipt and engagement with health care.”

The symposium also included three sessions featuring health and informatics experts from South Korea, Brazil, the United Kingdom and across the U.S. A virtual poster session during the lunch break allowed participants the opportunity to review 19 original research posters.

The symposium was chaired by College of Nursing informatics expert Assistant Professor Ragnhildur (Raga) I. Bjarnadottir, PhD, MPH, RN.

“Through the Kobb Informatic Symposium, we are pleased to be able to share the latest information and current trends involving nursing informatics, including artificial intelligence, theories and methods relevant to clinical and translational science,” Bjarnadottir said. 

“UF is making artificial intelligence the centerpiece of a major, long-term initiative that is combining world-class research infrastructure, cutting-edge research, and a transformational approach to curriculum and this symposium will position the College of Nursing as a part of the AI university,” said Anna McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Professor.

The biennial symposium was presented by the College of Nursing and was established through a gift from Bill and Patti Alcorn in honor of alumna, Rita Kobb (BSN 1981, MN 1996), an informatics expert with the Veterans Health Administration. Registration fees were waived for attendees thanks to the generosity of sponsors. In addition to founding sponsors Bill and Patti Alcorn, the 2021 symposium was also sponsored by UF Health and UF Health Jacksonville and Avant Healthcare Professionals. The next symposium will be held in early 2023.