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Unit information: Challenges and Opportunities for Digital Health and Care in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Challenges and Opportunities for Digital Health and Care
Unit code EENGM0018
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. O'Kane
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


The aim of this unit is to introduce the major physical and mental health challenges that are faced by local and global populations. The unit will explain the role of current and foreseen future technologies in tackling those challenges in community settings by means of prevention, real-time monitoring, diagnosis, self-management and decision support.

Content will depend on the guest lectures for that particular year, sourced from the CDT’s project partners. Each lecture will be one hour long with 15 minutes for discussion and questions at the end. For example:

  • Evolyst presenting user centred design approaches to digital health applications and the Royal Society’s double diamond design methodology
  • Knowle West Media Centre user driven design approaches to health and care in the community, and the use of participatory design and co-design
  • Ayuda Heuristics presenting machine learning techniques used in the design of a diabetes application for self-management
  • Care and Repair England discussing the move towards technology supporting people living at home independently and how research can impact government policy
  • Bristol City Council presenting their work on 5G connectivity in the city and how this has impacted health and care programs they provide to local populations

Intended learning outcomes

Having completed this unit, the student is expected to:

  1. Articulate major physical and mental health challenges faced by people, companies, charities, and governments.
  2. Articulate how current, and new and emerging technologies might be used to tackle major physical and mental health challenges.
  3. Understand the variety of research and design of digital health that is occurring outside of academia, including by community groups, charities, .
  4. Understand the different priorities and goals of different digital health providers in the UK and other markets.

Teaching details

This unit will be taught through a series of guest lectures from thought leaders in the NHS, industry partners and charities.

Assessment Details

Written essay comparing and contrasting two guest lectures with regards to their different perspectives on goals, priorities, opportunities, and challenges in digital health and care (individual, 4 pages in landscape 2 columned ACM Work in Progress format). (ILO 3&4)

Written essay detailing an exciting near future opportunity for digital health and/or care, and the potential challenges around it (individual, 6 pages in portrait 2 columned ACM Small Format). (ILO 1-3)

Presentation of the near future opportunity in class (individual, 10 minutes) (ILO 1-3)

Reading and References

Selected literature, references and online material will be provided at the start of the unit