Brown launches online Digital Health Certificate in actionable approach to healthcare innovation

Improving healthcare within our communities through impactful digital technology, the first cohort aims to make design and implementation easier by bringing minds from a multitude of perspectives together.

On September 6, the School of Professional Studies launched a new graduate-level, non-credit, online certificate in Digital Health Innovation. To create this certificate, the School of Professional Studies convened top faculty and practitioners from Brown’s School of Public Health, School of Engineering, and the Warren Alpert School of Medicine. 

“When we were developing this certificate, it was important for us to leverage the expertise from the Schools of Engineering, Public Health, and Medicine as digital health is very interdisciplinary and draws from disciplines from all three schools,” said Kimani Toussaint, Engineering Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Research and Strategic Initiatives. “The fact that engineering at Brown is the home to entrepreneurship and design makes it a significant resource for the curriculum that you will find in this certificate program. Our aim is to provide learners, who could have backgrounds in engineering or the physical sciences or medicine, with a framework and common language to navigate the digital health landscape."

Through a four-course, six-month curriculum, participants gain the skills and experience to go from idea to impact to improve healthcare delivery through technology. The courses, which are taught primarily asynchronously, were developed in partnership with the Center for Digital Health and Brown’s Digital Learning & Design team. The Digital Health Innovation Certificate delivers curriculum on in-demand skills such as entrepreneurial and design thinking, evaluation, equitable innovation, and cross-sector collaboration. In addition, every participant completes and receives faculty feedback on a capstone project where they design a prototype of a digital health innovation, create an implementation plan, and develop a pitch they can use for funders or other crucial stakeholders. 

The first cohort of 14 participants work in a range of industries, including education, healthcare, technology, and government as healthcare professionals, engineers, researchers, regulators, and entrepreneurs. The Certificate was conceived of by Megan Ranney, M.D., M.P.H., Academic Dean, School of Public Health, Director, Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, Warren Alpert Foundation Professor of Emergency Medicine; Toussaint; and Tyler Wray, Ph.D., Edens Family Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences. It comprises an interdisciplinary instructional team including Jason Harry, Ph.D., Hugh Pearson Professor of the Practice of Technology and Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice of Engineering; Smit Patel, Pharm.D., Clinical Innovation Lead, the Digital Medicine Society; and Melissa Simon, Ph.D., Business Development Director, Brown Technology Innovations.