Top Online Courses Preparing You For A Digital Health Career
Just as the digital revolution is changing the way we take our medications, it’s also responsible for revolutionizing the ways we can learn and develop new skills, and, thankfully, there is no shortage of high quality, professional educational opportunities available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smart screen.
Years ago, the merging of computers and biology tended to only enter reality in our wildest dreams and the craziest of sci-fi movies. However, now the gap between our technological and medical lives is becoming smaller daily, and soon the grandeur of movies such as Avatar and iRobot seem less like imagination and more like prophecy (though hopefully not with the latter).
Digital Health, or the merger of healthcare, genometrics, and technology through the ingenuity of the digital revolution, is the catalyst behind a current technological overhaul in how we handle our medical care. With this overhaul has come a viable new demand for skills and education that caters not just to healthcare or technology, but to the boosting of both platforms in a single field. Healthcare and technology are shifting by the day, and for those of us already in these growing fields or looking to make the leap, there couldn’t be a better time to prepare ourselves accordingly.
But before we run off and hack the code of DNA, or program the cure the cancer, we have to come to terms with a crucial fact: digital health combines the medical with the technological, and both of these fields tend to entail a steep learning curve. So, without further ado, here are the 3 platforms and 8 opportunities we recommend to help prepare you for a career in digital health.
Top 3 Platforms For Digital Health Online Courses
The ease of availability of online education in the current age can often mean wading through the weeds to ensure you have a high quality, professional course you can stick with and benefit from. EdX simplifies the process by guaranteeing that there won’t be weeds to wade through. All their courses are taught by professors and leading professionals in their field, and while their content covers a wide range of topics and disciplines, they have some real gems pertaining to digital health.
EdX’s Online Courses For Digital Health
This 5 week course is affiliated with Rice University and was designed with nothing less in mind than equipping its students to “successfully engage with the future of medicine.” This course is intended to introduce the emerging world that is digital healthcare, along with all its intricacies and peculiarities, in a way to empower leaders and enthusiasts to make informed decisions.
Length: 5 weeks, Assessment: Final Project, Goal: Engaging the technological future of medicine
This is a free 9 week course catering towards the startup realm of the eHealth industry in a way that informs and prepares entrepreneurs to take into account all things from technology to public policy, and even accounting when building a healthcare business from the ground up. Participants will not only evaluate and examine healthcare startup business models, but will try their hand t producing their own as well.
Length: 9 weeks, Assessment: None, Goal: Producing a business plan
A fundamental course geared at helping one understand and work with data accumulation and analysis one might encounter in the healthcare industry. This course tackles everything from knowing the necessary vocabulary for working with medical data sets, to learning the actual software to sort through it all.
Length: 8 weeks, Assessment: Exercises and Self-Assessment, Goal: R Programming and Graphical Data Summaries
The best part about EdX is that it offers remarkable quality without breaking the bank. In other words, you get to take courses taught by Harvard, Rice, and University of Toronto professors, for free, often at your own pace, and if you do pay anything its likely just an optional fee to receive a certificate for proof of accreditation.
Coursera is another well-known online education platform, and, like others, provides a number of standout free educational opportunities for those wanting to audit a class. However, in my opinion, it’s some of the purchasable opportunities that really set Coursera apart, and can be well worth the slight impact on the wallet. Purchasing a course doesn’t just provide access to lectures. You’ll also find a wealth of resources such as graded peer-reviewed assignments, group discussions, and certifications to insure you don’t just access material but actually learn and comprehend the subject being taught.
A particularly striking feature you’ll find at Coursera is its specialized bundled courses. These specializations are essentially groupings of related courses aimed at mastering a particular skill needed in an industry. Instead of groping in the dark hoping a course will somehow benefit you, these specializations give you a planned track with a concrete goal and skill expected to be met upon its completion.
Coursera’s Online Courses For Digital Health
This course, offered by the University of Sydney, is one of two fundamental courses designed to inform a variety of disciplines on the impact eHealth is having on the application of healthcare in the 21st This is a foundational course for doctors, administrators, programmers, and everything in between.
Length: 5 weeks, Assessment: Quizzes and Project, Goal: Master fundamentals of eHealth
There are two foundational realizations to engaging in digital health effectively: 1) There is a LOT of information involved in the healthcare industry, and 2) the information technology sector is rapidly advancing. This course examines the challenges and opportunities presented to professionals in light of these two phenomena.
Length: 5 weeks, Assessment: Graded Assignments, Goal: Applying modern IT principles to healthcare management
Remember those Specialization packages I mentioned earlier? Well, this specialization package offered at Coursera is particularly relevant to those making the move into digital health, where the technological revolution has ensured the digitalization of mountains of information. This has in turn produced an outstanding need to adequately sort, extract, analyze, and respond to data. This course attempts to just do equip entrepreneurs and medical specialists to do just that by combing informative and hands on instruction.
Length: 14+ weeks, Assessment: Capstone Project, Goal: Hands on analysis of real data sources
Finally, we come to Udacity, a platform where you can find a great mix of free and priced courses along with a variety of certificates and nanodegrees at your disposure. The site in general caters more towards the tech skills you’d expect to find in computer science related fields, and, as such, there’s a great survey of courses that would be beneficial to gaining the technological and practical foundation needed for a career in a tech driven field such as digital health.
Health Informatics is all about improving the efficacy of healthcare, and this course makes the logical jump by equipping students to integrate informatics with the modern systems foundational to digital health innovations, such as cloud technology. If you’re coming at the content from a less specialized position, don’t fret, there’s a beginners course on informatics to catch you up to speed.
Length: 5 weeks, Assessment: Quizzes, Goal: Overview of health informatics
The digital revolution is what is fueling the expansion of digital health, and programming has become the language of the people. Accordingly, getting some sort of foundational base to understand the concepts and practices associated with programming (after all it will be the magic behind everything from your groundbreaking fitness apps to your sleek looking websites) is a critical asset to anyone seeking to have their hands in a digital market. Whether you want to be coding works of genius yourself, or just helping startup the people who do, learning HTML, CSS, and Python through this course is a great value to at least get the ball rolling. This specific course is part of a highly valuable nanodegree program, so it comes with a price, bt provides a professional assortment of support, engagement, and assessment.
Length: 5 months, Assessment: Quizzes, Projects, Job Exploration, Goal: Learn basic programming and explore career paths accordingly
The options available in terms of online education are plenty, and often overwhelming. The courses listed above are great picks that cover a wide variety of skills you may encounter as requirements in the field of digital health. As eHealth, healthcare information technology, and med tech continue to evolve, countless people will continue to jump on the bandwagon. But as you attempt to grow and learn accordingly in order to best equip yourself in a new marketplace, don’t forget to bring your passion, enthusiasm, and drive for something better to the learning table as well.
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