NRS8003 - Innovation in Global Health


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Passed/Failed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100

Course content

Technology and innovation is an integral part of healthcare, in both developing and developed countries. While understanding key concepts of epidemiology, health management and statistics are common topics to the study of Global Health, few courses focus on the importance of technology and innovation, its history, its present and future, and its inherent challenges. The course NRS8003 will introduce the key concepts of technology and innovation in global health, in an interactive way, using examples that have been successfully implemented, and those that have failed. We will analyze the key attributes of design, success and failures of technology in this course. The course will focus on the process of technology, development, design, optimization and implementation in low and middle income countries. We will also focus on when and why technology is needed, when it is necessary, and what information it can and cannot provide. In that regard, issues of ethics will also come into play. In addition, the course will analyze the history of technology in global health, the current state of technology and what the future technological needs may be. Broadly speaking, we will focus on three kinds of technologies: 1) successful examples of technology implementation 2) near-misses and 3) those that failed despite showing promise in early/ prototype stages. These lessons will guide the framework of our discussion about the need and the future of the technologies. Finally, we will also study the current bottlenecks, including social, technological and financial, that may hinder technology development and adoption in resource limited settings.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The course NRS8003 will provide students with in depth knowledge on the following key topics: 1) History of technological innovation in global health. 2) The process of technology development, optimization and implementation in global health. 3) The essential design features needed for a technological innovation to succeed. 4) A richer understanding of what kind of technologies are scalable and which are not. 5) An understanding of stakeholders in technology development and implementation. Skills: Through the course NRS8003, we anticipate that the students will develop the following skills: 1) Analyzing various models of technology development process and implementation. 2) Understand the role of design in technology development. 3) Analysis of the role and responsibilities of various stakeholders in technology development and implementation. 4) Group hands-on projects on assessing a technologies promise and trajectory to improve health outcomes. 5) Group presentations on the technology development and implementation cycle for global health applications. General competence: Upon finishing the course NRS8003, the students will have an in-depth understanding of global health technologies, their trajectory and the bottlenecks in their implementation, as well as experience working in teams to assess the in country viability and sustainability of a given technology, given the in country financial, socio-cultural, technological and logistical realities.

Learning methods and activities

This course will be divided into two parts. The first part will focus on lectures, discussion and case studies. The second part will focus on team work, focused around a single technology per team (of 3-4 students), that will analyze a technology in progress of implementation or a technology that is in early stage of development. The students will be required to come up with a "forecast" for the future of the technology in terms of the scope, focus and pathway to implementation. Students will analyze whether the technology they are analyzing is sustainable, what are the bottlenecks and what needs to change in the technology for it to be highly successful. Ethical and social issues will also be discussed. The language of teaching and examination is English. The course will be held in Oslo.

Compulsory assignments

  • Group presentations

Further on evaluation

Here is an outline of the difference between Master course PH3002 and PhD-course NRS8003: 1) The PhD students will have additional assignments (1 more paper) and more detailed papers to write (10 pages, instead of 5-7 pages for masters students). 2) The PhD students will be graded with additional components (literature analysis, background literature etc) 3) The PhD students will also be required to give longer and more detailed presentation.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

Admission to a PhD-program. Registration through Norwegian Research School of Global Health webpage: Exchange students may be accepted after an individual evaluation.

Course materials

Course literature will be announced at the start of the semester.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  5.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2021

Language of instruction: English


Subject area(s)
  • Health Science
  • Public Health
  • Medical Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Globalization
  • Medicine
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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