01.101 Global Health Technologies

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Course Description

Global Health Technologies course provides a multi-disciplinary approach to global health technology design using real world projects and partners. The course explores the current state of global health challenges (with special focus on Singapore and her neighbours), and teaches students how to design medical technologies (e.g. products, systems) that address these problems. The same technology that is applicable in developing countries will be tested in Singapore as a pilot run, before being introduced to the neighboring countries. In their respective project groups, students will brainstorm and define current elderly issues pertaining to community hospitals (e.g. St Andrew’s Community Hospital) in Singapore. Guest lectures, panel discussions and organized field trip will allow student to have a first-hand experience to global health issues and help students come up with better solutions. The Biodesign Innovation process will be taught and applied in the student projects.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the term, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the state of global health and burden of disease, and explain the global health indicators that are used to measure them.
  2. Understand how global health is impacted through diagnostics and therapeutics.
  3. Synthesize their understanding of the tools that are used to impact global health and apply them to the design of appropriate technology solutions.

Measurable Outcomes

  1. Learn and use the steps involved in choosing a strategic focus for a global health challenge with respect to the elderly [assignment].
  2. Describe and understand how global health is impacted through diagnostic and therapeutic [concept quiz].
  3. Ability to perform effective background research, observation and interviews for a global health challenge with respect to the elderly [field trip report].
  4. Calculate common public health measures using global burden of disease statistics. [assignment]
  5. Understand rapid diagnostic assays and estimate their sensitivity and specificity. [assignment]
  6. Compare and contrast the different public health systems in both the developed and developing countries and the relationship between them [guest speakers].
  7. Carry out a design analysis and make/design prototype of a medical device/system intervention [design project]

Text & References

  • Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies 2nd Edition
    By Paul G. Yock, Stefanos Zenios , Josh Makower, Todd J. Brinton, Uday N. Kumar, F. T. Jay Watkins, Lyn Denend and Thomas M. Krummel
    ISBN-13: 978-1107087354
    ISBN-10: 110708735X
  • Understanding Global Health 101 (Essential Public Health), 4th Edition 2019
    By Richard Skolnik
    Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning
    ISBN-13: 978-1284145380
    ISBN-10: 1284145387


There will be one quiz (week 6).

There is no final exam, however, students will work in teams on the global health design project to complete a report, prototype (optional), and final presentation.

Component Percentage (%)
Assignments (2) 10
Attendance 10
Field trip report (1) 10
Mid-term quiz (Week 6) 25
Interaction time with patients at SACH 5
Peer review 10
Mid-term review (presentation and report: week 8) 10
End-of term project (Poster and Report week 13) 20
Total 100


There will be 2 assignments and 1 field trip report. The submission date will be clearly stated at the top of the assignment. No late assignment will be accepted.

Course Lead/Main Instructor

Dr Yajuan (Julia) Zhu
Dr Xiaojuan Khoo