Digital health represents the convergence of healthcare delivery through multiple digital platforms including mobile applications, data analytics, genomics and artificial intelligence. Digital health is also among the key phenomena which drives the next cycle of transformation in the healthcare industry, especially with the changing role of the consumer and healthcare landscape. The phenomenal growth of digital health warrants the next generation of health specialists to be equipped with knowledge and skills essential for evaluation and administration of appropriate digital solutions to their health settings. The course will stimulate thinking on digital health (at macro level) with a focus on the implementation and evaluation of these new technologies (at micro level) at the health facility (e.g. local health district or a health network). The course will also provide an in-depth understanding and critical evaluation of digital health applications, inter-operability standards and frameworks including key topics such as governance and ethics. In addition, there will be an exploration of the theoretical principles in evaluation of digital health interventions in this course.

Interested students, who are not enrolled in a Masters program offered by the School of Population Health will need to contact the course convenor, who will assess whether they have the appropriate background, before enrolling in this course.

This course is an elective course of the Master of Public Health, Master of Global Health and the Master of Health Leadership and Management comprising six units of credit towards the total required for completion of each study program. There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Mode of study

Face-to-face classes on-campus for Internal students & fully online for Distance External students

Key contact

Who should do this course?

We welcome students from any discipline and level of experience to contribute perspectives and understandings. In addition, we encourage you to engage with the material, ask questions, discuss relevant issues with teachers and colleagues, and regard the available literature with a critical eye.

Course outcomes

This course aims to enable students to critically appraise digital health tools; understand the development, implementation, adoption and evaluation of currently available digital health solutions, and determine their cost-effectiveness in clinical and/or population health practice. The student should consider the sociotechnical principles, validity and evidence, ethical challenges, legal and governance issues, utility and relevance in diverse local and international contexts.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of digital health and artificial intelligence in society and the health system at macro, meso and micro levels
  • explain what user, technical, conceptual and contextual factors contribute to successful implementation of digital health and artificial intelligence tools
  • critically review the importance of evaluation and the determinants of successful evaluation from the perspective of single-site effectiveness studies, multi-site comparative effectiveness research and large scale-up of evidence-based digital health interventions
  • identify and justify what data quality benchmarks and interoperability standards are required, their importance and implications, and how they may be achieved and sustained to support health care and outcomes in context
  • discuss the governance, provenance, ethical, legal and social issues associated with digital health and artificial intelligence and the implications for stakeholders, organisations, and health systems locally and internationally.

Learning & teaching

The course will highlight applications in digital health and the need to critically evaluate and appraise these tools in healthcare decisions and delivery. Students will also be introduced to the design concepts and principles underlying the development of current digital health applications and practices. Students will understand the importance of standards and interoperability frameworks and incorporate these in the design, development and implementation of digital health tools and systems.

We recognise that candidates in this course are graduates and/or employed in the health services sector, and many will be studying part-time while working full-time. The course has therefore been designed to provide flexible and timely opportunities to engage with the key concepts and with one another via both face-to-face and online discussions, develop a critical understanding of the fundamental principles of the design, development, implementation and evaluation of digital health tools and practice. 

Learning is both individual (via reading and preparation of assignments) and collaborative (via group discussions in face-to-face/online and peer review sessions). The learning activities of the course have been designed to be hands-on and immersive in nature and include self-directed reading, interactive virtual and/or face-to-face sessions, online activities including support for feedback after the workshop, reflective vignettes, preparation of written assignments and peer review processes linked to the assignments.


Assessment 0 – Pre-Census Online Forum Discussions
Weighting: 0%
Length: 300 words (2 x 150 words each)

Assessment 1 – Online Forum Discussions
Weighting: 20%
Length: 600 words (4 x 150 words each)

Assessment 2 – Report
Weighting: 35%
Length: 750 words

Assessment 3 – Essay
Weighting: 45%
Length: 1500 words