MSc Global eHealth

Further course information

Further information about programme courses.

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Academic Year 2017-18

From September until July the academic year is divided into 6 blocks  of 10 credit 5 week courses  in Year 1 and Year 2 .In Year 3 ,a supervised research project is undertaken by all students in this final year of their studies.

Term 1

Block 1

Introduction to Health Informatics and eHealth 

This course explores key concepts and issues in Health Informatics and eHealth. It provides a grounding in the history and evolution of the fields at theoretical and applied levels. Subjects include: patterns of health and disease; structure and funding of health systems; relationships between poverty; technology and health; globalisation; international standards; mHealth to address the urban-rural divide; challenges for Global Health Surveillance; workforce issues; innovation in low resource settings; research and evaluation of eHealth.

 

Block 2 

Health Informatics: core technologies and systems

An introduction to the technical underpinnings of eHealth, namely the architectures and systems used to manage and exchange patient and administrative data within and across healthcare institutions. Covers key concepts such as standards, databases, interoperability, health information exchange, clinical coding and enterprise resource planning, as well as particular types of system, such as electronic health records, picture archiving and communications systems and laboratory information systems. These are discussed with reference to institution-centred and system-wide approaches, as well as highlighting key issues for lower income settings such as the use of open source software.

 

Term 2 

Block 3

Global eHealth 

This course considers the emergence and use of health information technologies in different global regions. It pays particular attention to the challenges and opportunities presented by eHealth in supporting public health and patient care in low income countries. It examines the policy context of eHealth in different countries, the World Health Organisation¿s eHealth strategy, as well as broader issues around inequalities, globalisation, health system strengthening and workforce development.

 

Block 4

mHealth in high and low resource settings

This course examines the emergence of mHealth from a global perspective.It considers the rapid emergence of mobile technologies in low resource settings and how this is helping to bypass eHealth approaches based on fixed line infrastructures, as well as examining the uses of mHealth in high income countries. It also critically evaluates the hype surrounding mHealth in the global business community and the extent to which this is supported by evidence. Through comparing and contrasting examples of mHealth deployments in a range of global settings the course challenges students to think beyond the technology to the functions it is serving and to consider the relevant sociotechnical issues around service packaging and systems redesign. Participation of important international mHealth researchers and implementers will help to ground the course in practice.

Term 3

Block 5

Telemedicine and Telehealth

Describes and analyses the role of information and communications technologies in enabling remote patient care, health professional collaboration at a distance, and in supporting patient-self management. This is considered with reference to technological, clinical, sociological and policy perspectives. Non-communicable diseases and global health challenges are core themes.

 

Block 6

The Business of eHealth

This novel course is designed to familiarise students with the commercial environments in which eHealth is playing a part. It considers the emergence and differentiation of the eHealth marketplace, including different types of technology, intended users and settings, suppliers and customers. It will explore and contrast large-scale infrastructure deployments for healthcare organisations (e.g. electronic health records and decision support systems, emergence of cloud platforms), Telehealth for supporting remote patient care, mHealth innovations for ambulatory support or information, the online marketplace of health products and services, and the emerging market for reusable data assets, as well as the uses of social media in health. It will also present key considerations for effective business case planning, product design, procurement, project planning and implementation, drawing on management theories while recognising the need for evidence-based eHealth.

Year 2

Term 1

Block 1 

Managing Change

Successfully implementing eHealth projects depends on managing behavioural and attitudinal change in the intended users and the organisations in which they work. This module highlights the importance of understanding organisational contexts, workflows and routines, as well as user cultures and preferences, when designing and planning eHealth projects. It introduces key theories and methods from the management and organisational sciences relevant to process redesign, change management and effective project leadership, drawing on examples from the eHealth sector. Subsequent weeks focus on real projects involving the of eHealth technologies in high and how income settings and what these tell us about the need to actively manage and evaluate change.

 

Block 2 

Public Health Informatics

Public health informatics is the systematic application of information and computer science and technology to public health practice, research, and learning. This course provides a broad overview of the field, taking account of classic public health information delivery, core principles of epidemiology, health inequalities and health behaviour change, as well as the implications of massive linked datasets for research and policy, and the value of emerging mobile and social technologies for health surveillance. It will discuss the issues from an international perspective, with reference to global public health needs and the emergence of innovative digital systems and analytics.

Term 2

Block 3

Ethics and Governance of eHealth

This course introduces the ethical, legal and regulatory context of eHealth. It considers key ethical principles in healthcare research and how ethical principles have been adopted in the field of ICT. Ethical dilemmas in eHealth research and practice are presented with reference to examples of eHealth interventions and projects in which the exchange, sharing and linkage of data from systems and devices create risks for trust, privacy or patient safety. Subsequent lectures introduce students to the key principles of information governance, including the Caldicott principles, the data protection act, standards for security and privacy and international medical device directives. Students will be expected to undertake a forensic assessment of one health IT programme from one or more of these perspectives.

 

Block 4

User-Centred Design in eHealth

Through active participation in online activities, students will explore and understand the principles used to capture user perspectives and involving users in the design process. Students will be introduced to a range of methods for improving the usability of interactive computer-based systems. On completion of this course, it is intended students will have the skills and understanding to apply their knowledge in effectively analysing various eHealth tools and services.

 

Term 3

Block 5

Patient eHealth

This course focuses on eHealth tools and services for patients and members of the public, in an area traditionally referred to as Consumer Health Informatics. It considers the information needs of the lay person and how our increasing access to digital media on the internet, though mobiles and social networks is changing this. Key underpinning issues include information provenance and the flipping of the so-called power pyramid from medical experts to informed consumers. It also considers the new role of citizens and 'expert patients' as co-producers and curators of health information, and mediators of health decision making.

 

Block 6

Research and Evaluation in eHealth

Introduces the main study types used in eHealth research, their appropriateness for examining different research problems and the basics of undertaking and analysing projects using these methods. Compulsory for all students intending to proceed to MSc, in preparation for the final year project. Specialist methodology options are available elsewhere in the programme (e.g. User-Centred Design) and our sister programmes in Public and Global Health (e.g. Qualitative Research).

Year 3

Terms 1,2 and 3

Global eHealth Dissertation

A supervised research project is undertaken by all students in the final year of their studies. Students will be expected to design, organise, conduct and analyse a piece of novel research addressing an issue of importance in their workplace or national context, or identified through a literature review. All students enrolled in the dissertation module will be provided with a project handbook containing guidance on how to identify research questions, select appropriate methods, undertake a literature review, obtain ethics approval, organise and manage the data collection phase and prepare the structured final report.