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Healthcare Innovation: Engineering, Systems and Improvement

Nurses looking a baby in intensive care

The course consists of three units - Units 4-6 - each including a residential week in Cambridge. Teaching outside the residential weeks will be supported by online lectures/seminars, supervisions and online resources.

You will have had to successfully complete Units 1-3 in the PG Certicate and be awarded the PGCert to be able to enroll on to the PG Diploma.


Unit 4: Patient and Population Health

As healthcare progressively transitions into a value-based reimbursement model, a deep understanding of patient and population health is critical for healthcare industries and organisations, as well as healthcare policymakers. Innovation must be developed in context if it is to be appropriate and evaluated for potential benefit to individual and population health. Unit 4 revolves around public health now and in the future. Health is influenced by much outside the health care system and innovators for health improvement need to understand the role of interventions at the individual level, and what can be done through innovation in other spheres. Influencing health at scale must include a strong understanding of all the environments in which we live our lives, including physical, psychological, emotional, social, digital, legal and historical. Students will receive teaching on the principles of population approaches, and the way in which individually orientated interventions fit into these macro levels. They will have exposure to the evidence base on population-orientated interventions and changes in societal approaches to health. Students will have the opportunity to think through the principles of evaluation of innovations of different types with a population lens, including all the diversity of our global circumstances. This module will comprise a mixture of lectures and seminars as well as group and individual work.


Indicative content for this module includes an introduction to public health approaches, including epidemiology and biostatistics; upstream determinant of health; how we develop our understanding of health in populations and communities; and the importance of interdisciplinary ways of working in health innovation. This module links to relevant topics from other teaching from earlier modules. The methods and designs that epidemiology and public health use to generate evidence will be covered. It will include how routine data are collected and developed, their strengths and weaknesses, and how these are linked and used to plan services and develop policy. Public Health skills regarding health technology assessment, including assessing broad economic implications will be part of the active learning components, along with practical application of principles that are used to determine whether innovations are fit for scaling up and rolling out to particular populations. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit participants will be able to:

  • understand and apply epidemiological and public health methods that are relevant to innovation, formulating/testing appropriate hypotheses.

  • understand the role of the environment on healthcare innovation, including physical, psychological, social, digital, legal and cultural aspects.

  • appreciate which disciplines beyond their own are necessary to robust testing of innovation

  • identify, synthesise and criticise the evidence base relevant to innovations

  • evaluate whether innovations are relevant to particular populations including identification of appropriate outcomes

Key dates

Residential week: 29 September - 3 October 2025


Unit 5: Healthcare Technologies II

This unit on Healthcare Technologies builds on Unit 2 in the PgCert, expanding the range of expertise and knowledge in technologies which can be used in healthcare innovation. Application examples are used to showing how technology innovation can be implemented practically in a healthcare or medical setting. Hands-on practical sessions and case studies are used to guide the students through this unit, with clinician and researcher lecturers at the frontier of healthcare engineering. The unit has three sections - biomechanics, image analysis methods and implantables - covering advanced topics in healthcare technology. Each section is assessed with a 4-page report drawing on material covered in the lecture material, practical sessions and discussions.


Indicative content for this module includes:


  • Anatomy, biomechanics data collection, biomechanics analysis.
  • Biomechanics modelling, stress analysis.
  • Clinical applications, gait laboratory.

Image analysis methods

  • Clinical image acquisition. 
  • Imaging modalities. 
  • Image analysis, segmentation, classification. 
  • Use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in imaging


  • Devices and therapies. 
  • Fabrication, device integration. 
  • Mechanical design and materials.
  • Application examples: stent, cochlea, bioelectronics.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit participants will have an expanded knowledge of key engineering technologies that can be used in healthcare, including biomechanics and image analysis, allowing them to identify the space to improve healthcare provision through implementations including diagnosis, treatment, management and policies. Through an in-depth study of a range of implantables, they will have developed further knowledge and expertise in how to use a mixture of technology solutions within healthcare and clinical systems.

Key dates

Residential week: 12 - 16 January 2026


Unit 6: Healthcare Systems Innovation

Unit 6 is designed to equip the students with the entrepreneurship skills and a mindset to go along with the development of medical technology innovation. Innovations, spanning new product, production or supply, will adopt a systems approach to improved healthcare. It focuses on the intricacy of medical devices development, medicine supply chains involving just-in-time supply linked to short-product life, speciality products, personalisation and/or in-home application based on monitored treatment-cycles, healthcare services improvement for both medical settings and everyday life; and the key entrepreneurship skills to get a product or service from a concept to market and for the post-market planning. This unit links closely with the other five units, enabling the students to execute a medical technology innovation in modern healthcare ecosystems, which include but are not limited to traditional care, home and self-care, social care, daily life activities and health financing support. Furthermore, students are encouraged to understand the rapid expansion of the healthcare ecosystems and develop their sensitivity towards the innovations not only for patients, but also for the healthy population. Case studies will be used to guide students through this unit.


Indicative content for this module includes key theories to conceptualise the relationship between healthcare technologies, innovation and strategic change; behavioural economics and decision making within the healthcare systems; economic principles for the healthcare sector; case studies of transformative practices and the leadership techniques by those who succeed in commercial healthcare technology implementation; state of the art innovation methodologies to improve healthcare for patients, the healthy public, clinicians and organisations. Examples will draw on innovations in payment models, e.g. linking to patient outcomes rather than product supply.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit participants should be able to see the role of healthcare technology advancement in the process of innovation and strategic change within the industry; appreciate the role of healthcare technologies in healthcare ecosystems by enabling innovative work practices and the organisational issues involved in implementing and using technological innovations; demonstrate how key concepts in behavioural economics are used, design new approaches and apply lessons to challenges in healthcare ecosystems; analyse determinants of demand for medical care, the unique role of physicians in resource allocation, and competition in medical care markets; develop innovative solutions to pressing healthcare problems and produce early data enabling organisations to support, promote, and ultimately adopt the solutions at scale.

Key dates

Residential week: 20 - 24 April 2026

Course duration

11 months part-time

Course fee

Home: £6,024

Overseas: £11,053

Course Director

Dr James Ward



Qualifications / Credits

PG Diploma (60 Credits)

Teaching sessions

Residential weeks:

Unit 4: 29 September – 3 October 2025

Unit 5: 12 – 16 January 2026

Unit 6: 20 – 24 April 2026

Course code