The Digital Health Curriculum

Digital health tools are as much a part of medicine today as the stethoscope has been. Failing to teach digital health to medical students is like sending them to the front with blanks in their guns. It's educational malpractice.

There are big gaps in how medical schools are preparing students to use EHRs. But it goes even further in that few schools have required digital health courses, define and measure digital health competencies, or expose students to digital health entrepreneurship.

Like other medical school subjects, there are basic science and clinical components and the apprenticeship model is used to develop competent graduates. The same should apply to digital health and learning objectives, curriculum design and assessment should be in 3 basic and applied areas:

1. The Embryology, Anatomy, and Physiology of Digital Health. In other words, how are digital health systems, products, and services evolving? How are they built and how do they work?

2. Clinical Digital Health. How are digital health products and services used? Where are the gaps and opportunities and when are they effective? Like all drugs and technologies, what are the side effects or complications using them and when are they indicated?

3. Digital Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship. How are digital health products and services designed, developed, tested, validated, deployed, and transferred to human subjects?

The course should be mandatory for every medical student. We should also separate education from training.

Here is the Table of Contents of the Textbook of Digital Health written by an interdisciplinary faculty and taught online:

Section 1: Technologies

Social Media

Telemedicine

Data Analytics and Business Intelligence

Personalized and Precision Medicine

Wearables

Mobile Health Platforms

Electronic Medical Records

Health Information Exchange and Interoperability

Section 2: Applications

Diagnosis

Treatment

Prevention and Wellness

Prognosis

Rehabilitation

Behavioral Health

Disease Management

Public Health

Section 3: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Intellectual Property Protection

Regulatory Issues

Reimbursement

Business Models

Financing Digital Health Startup Ventures

Leading High Performance digital Health Teams

Product and Customer Development

Lean Startup Methodologies

Clinical Validation and Translational Research

Data Security and Confidentiality

Section 4: Leading Interdisciplinary and Inter-Professional Teams

Team Dynamics

Leadership

Outcomes and Metrics

Conflict Resolution

Digital health tools are as much a part of medicine today as the stethoscope has been. Failing to teach digital health to medical students is like sending them to the front with blanks in their guns. It's educational malpractice.