You likely generate health care data every day without realizing it. When you check into your doctor’s office, tap the fitness tracker on your wrist to see how many calories you’ve burned, or unknowingly let your smartphone monitor the number of steps you’ve taken—you’re producing data. In fact, research shows that the health care industry is generating approximately 30 percent of the world’s data, and that volume is only expected to rise.

But, what does this all mean for the future of health care? How can data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other digital technologies transform the industry, and what challenges or opportunities might that transformation present? The newest Harvard Online course, Digital Health, aims to answer exactly that.

Digital Health is a four-week course taught by Harvard Medical School faculty that explores innovative frameworks to think strategically about adopting and implementing digital transformation in your organization. You’ll examine the unique challenges facing health care, such as navigating stakeholder needs and establishing data security best practices, while learning how digital technologies can address critical pain points facing the industry.

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“The reality is that health care is very different from retail, banking, or travel,” says Digital Health Professor Stanley Shaw (MD, PhD), the Associate Dean for Executive Education at Harvard Medical School. “Digital transformation in health care needs people who are bilingual. Meaning, fluent in the powerful, new digital tools that are emerging, but also in the culture and workflows of real-life medicine.”

The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse you in real-world examples from leading health care experts. Their stories will help guide you through a fictional hackathon, where you’ll work alongside other learners to determine which digital tools to invest in and the impact those tools have on patients, providers, and payers. By the end of the course, you’ll:

  • Learn how to think about applications of collecting and using data to inform health care and the privacy risks and analytical pitfalls unique to health care data
  • Explore the opportunities and difficulties of enabling digital approaches, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, apps, and sensors
  • Navigate the systemic barriers and often conflicting needs of health care stakeholders in bringing digital technologies to market
  • Become adept at analyzing gaps in health care that can be closed with technology and data

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Applications for Digital Health will be accepted through November 1, 2021, and the course will start on November 10, 2021. Learners should expect to dedicate approximately 15 hours to the course material.

For more information or to apply, visit the Digital Health page.