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Designing Transformative Innovation for Global Health

Summer Inst. term
International Health
2 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Mon 06/07/2021 - Fri 06/18/2021
Class Times:
  • M W F,  8:00 - 9:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Anthony So

In this age of globalization, the expectations of life-saving technologies cross borders readily, but the introduction and adaptation of these technologies in resource-limited settings often lag behind. Are you curious about why and how certain technologies or institutions have been transformative for improving health systems and promoting health equity? Are you interested in exploring the introduction, adaptation, and globalization across borders of health technologies? Through this course, you will learn policy analysis tools to help position innovation and to apply principles of design guided by public health concerns to adapt such innovation in resource-limited settings.

Familiarizes students with policy analysis tools to help position innovation of technologies or institutions for transformative potential. Demonstrates the application of principles of design guided by public policy and public health concerns to adapt such innovation in resource-limited settings. Considers technologies that are potentially transformative for improving health and narrowing disparities—making water potable, cook stoves more efficient and less polluting, and point-of-care diagnostics more available in local clinics. Examines the context of what makes innovation potentially transformative. Enables students to apply key policy tools such as stakeholder, value chain and market analyses as well as systems thinking, and consider how to structure and critique prize competitions, innovative financing approaches, and public-private partnerships.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the ethical issues involved in introducing technologies, from quality standards to donor-recipient relationships
  2. Apply systems thinking, stakeholder, value chain and market analyses to address the therapeutic, financial, and structural barriers to access to health technologies
  3. Examine how policy, from intellectual property rights to structuring of economic incentives, as well as how public vs. private sector funding can enable (or not) innovation and access in resource-limited settings
  4. Analyze collaborative arrangements for enabling access to innovative health technologies, from tiering and pooling to push and pull financing mechanisms
  5. Examine and critique various types of innovative financing mechanisms, from social impact bonds to advance market commitments, for transformative technologies and institutions
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Participation
  • 30% Group Presentation
  • 40% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Students are required to complete assignments prior to the start of the class. The final paper will be due two weeks after the last day of the course.