Bruce A. Houtchens, MD


The award and prize of $2,000 is given to the winner of a paper competition. Students are invited to submit papers expressing original ideas and reasonably complete research or development efforts in the areas of biomedical informatics, health informatics, or telemedicine, which is broadly defined as the application of computer, communication, or information technology to health care. The papers must have been submitted to journals and other entities.


Any student attending the University of Utah is eligible to apply.

Bruce A. Houtchens, MD

The Bruce A. Houtchens, MD, Award in Medical Informatics and Telemedicine was established and named in memory of Dr. Houtchens, who was a surgeon, physicist, mathematician, and aeronautical and astronautical engineer. His main interests included trauma, surgery/critical care, space medicine, and clinical application of telemedicine and medical informatics. The ward was established to open new horizons of medical technology, and to seek better ways of integrating medical technology into medical education and clinical practice. The first award was presented in 1997.

A personal reflection by Dr. Homer Warner describes Bruce, as follows: “Bruce and I had many long discussions about how essential computers were and would become in providing medical care. Bruce was a brilliant student and had excellent ideas and projects that just seemed to “flow” from his intellect. Instead of just one project, Bruce proposed three as potential MS thesis projects. He became involved in a project to provide electronic, radio communications from injured soldiers in the battlefield. His forward thinking about how to instrument, communicate, and computer process data from an injured soldier in battle really overtook Bruce.” The Master of Science in Medical Informatics Degree was awarded posthumously in 1995.

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