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Digital Health


Camerini A. L.

Course director


Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students will have learned about the:

  • variety of health domains characterized by digital transformation;
  • characteristics of digital data and their (dis)advantages compared to standard tools;
  • challenges in adopting digital health tools.

Course Description
In June 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO Regional Director for Europe highlighted once again the potential of digital health for today’s societies, leaving three key message: (1) Go digital, but go wisely, (2) build trust by respecting privacy, and (3) address the digital gap. Digital health is a rapidly evolving field which taps into a variety of health domains from monitoring single patients to monitoring the spread of a pandemic. While the benefits of digital health are manifold, it also brings challenges and limitations that require thorough consideration. This introductory course on digital health aims to make students familiar with the (dis)advantages of digital health and faced challenges, by covering different domains, including diagnosis, monitoring, and intervention

Learning Methods
The course alters front lectures with discussion of distributed materials and ad-hoc tasks to approach the field of digital health. Active participation is essential while students are guided in the development of a critical approach towards the use of digital health technologies and data.

Given the interactive nature of this course, students’ regular attendance is requested. Justified absence requires prompt information of the course director.

Examination Information
The final grade will be composed of:

  • 10%: active and constructive participation during in-class discussions
  • 20%: student presentation 
  • 70%: final exam

Exemplary Literature/ Sources
Readings and additional material will be available on iCorsi:

  • European Commission (n.d.). Digital health technologies addressing the pandemic.
  • Insel T. R. (2018). Digital phenotyping: a global tool for psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 17(3), 276–277.
  • Lupton, D. (2013). The digitally engaged patient: Self-monitoring and self-care in the digital health era. Social Theory & Health 11, 256–270.
  • Mathews, S. C., McShea, M. J., Hanley, C. L., Ravitz, A., Labrique, A. B., & Cohen, A. B. (2019). Digital health: a path to validation. NPJ Digital Medicine, 2(1), 1-9.
  • WHO (n.d.). Global strategy on digital health 2020-2025.