To provide an editorial introduction to the 2009 IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics with an overview of its contents and contributors. A brief overview of the main theme, and an outline of the purposes, contents, format, and acknowledgment of contributions for the 2009 IMIA Yearbook. This 2009 issue of the IMIA Yearbook highlights important, beneficial loops which, if closed, could lead to considerable advances in the field of biomedical informatics and, indirectly, in healthcare and biomedical research. Progress towards closing the loops and remaining gaps are identified from the recent literature, illustrated by selected papers published during the past 12 months. Reviews and Surveys of the main research sub-fields in biomedical informatics in the Yearbook provide an overview of progress and current challenges across the spectrum of the discipline.
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