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Introduction to Health ICT: From GIS to e-health, mHealth, telemedicine and knowledge management (MPH8108)

The seminar provides an introduction to the three main pillars of health
data science: statistics, computer science and health sciences. Students
learn the following content in the course: find, clean, and transform
public and private data for meaningful analysis; visualize and interpret
data and communicate the results effectively; apply statistical methods
to draw scientific conclusions from data; use statistical models and
machine learning; apply big data methods to discover patterns, trends,
and associations.

Reliable epidemiological data are essential in order to quantify the
magnitude of a public health problem, identify risk and protective
factors and develop effective population-based or clinical interventions
and programs. However, in many settings, vital statistics and routine
health information is often incomplete or non-existent. Existing data
sources, which may be only mainly hospital-based, typically do not
capture health events that do not reach the hospital environment.
Therefore, using standardized data collection methods at the community
level will ensure: a) the data represent the population under study
rather than only those people who have sought health care, b) data
collection is scientifically robust, c) data may be compiled centrally
from different agencies, and d) there is an opportunity to compare data
between different regions and countries. It is not indented that
community surveys should replace hospital-based surveillance, rather
that they are a useful adjunct to them when more comprehensive
information is required. In those settings where mortality and
hospital-based data are incomplete or unreliable, then community
surveillance may be the only source of information.

This seminar also includes an introduction to GIS (Geographic
Information Systems) in public health. Disease surveillance and
Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Epidemics, their investigation
and control and screening. The course includes in particular GIS and its
use in public health and epidemiological research. Participants learn
how to use GIS (data acquisition, analysis & representation) to create
and analyze data for environmental and health studies, to use GIS to
assess epidemiological exposures (i.e. pollution, injury) and to study
and analyze patterns and spread of disease conditions. Specific
capabilities and tools will be introduced for the assessment of exposure
to a range of environmental risks and a special focus will be placed on
methods for linking geographic data and health data for epidemiological
studies, geospatial intelligence and health risk assessments.

The seminar will conclude with an overview of ICTs in healthcare.
Modalities such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal
digital assistants (PDAs) and various wireless devices are increasing
being used by health professionals and patients for improving health
outcomes. The aim of the course will enable students to understand how
ICT has evolved and various infrastructures are used in service
delivery. The course will enable students to learn about different
practices of e-health, mhealth, telemedicine, telehealth, and knowledge
management in service delivery for healthcare systems as well as share

Health Economics (MPH 8109)

Basics of economics.  New classical micro and macro economic model.
Application of economic model to the health sector. Concepts of need and
demand. Cost-benefit analysis. Human capital and willingness to pay
approach. Decision-making criteria. Cost-effectiveness analysis: Health
production. Consumption of care by individuals, family, community and
nation. Hospital as care production unit. Health insurance market.
Health and development. Allocation of resources to the structures. Time
management. Health care markets in different types of economies. Health
services financing. Equity in health. Economic and social consequences
of disease.

Introduction to Public Health and Fundamental Theories in Public Health Research (MPH 8000)

The World Health Organization succinctly defines “health” as a state of
complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity. Public health has traditionally been
broadly defined as the “science and art of preventing disease,
prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and
informed choices of society, organizations, public and private,
communities and individuals". This foundational course in public health
covers the historical development of the field from ancient times,
discusses major events which have shaped the field and an overview of
current challenges. An overview of the various sub-disciplines of public
health will be covered as well as the role of institutions,
public-private partnerships and case studies of successes and failures
in the field. Emphasis will be placed on the factors which underlie
health and ill health such as social determinants, environment,
education, employment, income, food security, housing, social inclusion
and other factors including cultural and political influences.