Medical imaging refers to the techniques and processes used to create images of the human body (or parts thereof) for clinical purposes (medical procedures seeking to reveal, diagnose or examine disease) or medical science (including the study of normal anatomy and function). As a discipline and in its widest sense, it is part of biological imaging and incorporates radiology (in the wider sense), radiological sciences, endoscopy, (medical) thermography, medical photography and microscopy (e.g. for human pathological investigations). Measurement and recording techniques which are not primarily designed to produce images, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) and others, but which produce data susceptible to be represented as maps (i.e. containing positional information), can be seen as forms of medical imaging.
Biomedical informatics, as a scientific discipline, has its roots in the early 1970s. It encompasses the fields of bioinformatics, medical imaging, health informatics, and several other disciplines. In recent years, this biological field has experienced explosive growth, due to public access to massive amounts of data generated from the Human Genome Project. A host of other complementary research efforts have also contributed to the knowledge base. This synergistic blend of multiple branches of biology, combined with information technology and knowledge, has enabled researchers and clinicians to utilize an array of information to advance biological research and healthcare.