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 messages: (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 that 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 advantages and challenges of digital health, by covering different domains, including disease diagnosis, monitoring, and health interventions and promotion.
By the end of this introductory course on digital health, students will have learned, among others, about the:
- variety of health domains characterized by digital transformation;
- ethical issues in digital health;
- characteristics of digital data and their (dis)advantages compared to standard tools;
- challenges in adopting digital health tools.
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.
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 made available on iCorsi:
- European Commission (n.d.). Digital health technologies addressing the pandemic. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/digital_health_technologies-addressing-pandemic
- Insel T. R. (2018). Digital phenotyping: a global tool for psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 17(3), 276–277. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20550
- Lupton, D. (2013). The digitally engaged patient: Self-monitoring and self-care in the digital health era. Social Theory & Health 11, 256–270. https://doi.org/10.1057/sth.2013.10
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-019-0111-3
- WHO (n.d.). Global strategy on digital health 2020-2025. www.int/health-topics/digital-health