Brendan Flynn

Master of Health Informatics student

Brendan Flynn standing on a rooftop deck in Toronto with CN tower in the distance.

What projects did you work on?

For the first half of my placement a significant portion of my time was devoted to assisting in the launch of the TAMVOES iOS application. TAMVOES is a health management platform that aims to empower individuals and their families with easy access to their health information allowing them to make more informed health care decisions. My role in that process involved testing the application for functionality, bugs, potential enhancements, and continuity between the TAMVOES web app and the iOS app. The app has recently been released on the Apple App store, and we’ll be continuing to update and improve it over the coming months.

Another project I’ve started working on and which will be receiving more of my attention in the latter half of this placement is the integration of educational content and guided walkthroughs in the iOS application. The TAMVOES platform is very feature-rich, so effective educational content will go a long way in ensuring users get the most out of their experience with the platform.

What was the highlight of your practicum?

The highlight of my practicum so far has been assisting with the launch of the iOS application. The mobile development team at TAMVOES has been working hard on the application for quite some time, and I was fortunate enough to join the company for the final 6 or so weeks leading up the launch. It was definitely a busy time, but also a very exciting process.

What did you learn that will help you in the future?

There has been a lot I’ve learned so far in my placement, but for me one of the most useful pieces of experience has been working within an organization following the agile software development cycle. Working in this environment has given me a much better understanding of the flow and pacing required to be an effective contributor to the team. I can definitely see that being a piece of experience I take with me in future endeavours.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing a program with a practicum component?

I would highly recommend doing a program with a practicum component. The course content of a program is undeniably valuable but having the practicum opportunity takes it to the next step by providing hands-on experience in a relevant setting. A practicum not only helps you learn or hone the skills required in an employment setting, but it can also help you narrow down which work environments you are or are not interested in pursuing following completion of your program.

Why did you pick this program?

I picked the Master of Health Informatics (MHI) program at Waterloo for several reasons, first among them being the design of the program aimed at professionals with a background in health care. Coming from five years in a clinical setting, this program presented itself as an accessible way for someone with my experience to get involved with the growing field of computer science and informatics in health care. Another significant benefit to this program from my perspective was the practicum placement opportunity it offered, and the great reputation of the University of Waterloo when it comes to experiential learning.

Would you recommend this program?

I would highly recommend this program to those who are interested in gaining the expertise to contribute to the design and management of informatics solutions in the field of health care. The courses are led by some fantastic professors who have a great deal of insight into the industry, and the practicum component offers a great opportunity for you to put the content learned through coursework to practical use.