Healthcare Fundamentals and Digital Health Trends (Understanding Healthcare) (Wintersemester 2018/2019)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Erwin Böttinger (Digital Health - Personalized Medicine) , Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 4
  • ECTS: 6
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 26.10.2018
  • Lehrform: Vorlesung / Übung
  • Belegungsart: Brückenmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch
  • Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 30

Studiengänge & Module

Digital Health MA
  • Fundamentals of Healthcare Systems


  1. Course Description:


This is a bridging module directed at students of the Master’s Programme Digital Health with IT or other non-healthcare background. The course provides knowledge of principal elements of healthcare and public health systems and global health initiatives, including their stakeholders, institutions, regulations, and functional interplay. It will equip students with a solid working knowledge of fundamentals and emerging trends in healthcare, public health, and global health. In the first block “Healthcare Systems and Industries”, students will focus on the composition and interplay of stakeholders in modern healthcare systems, including international healthcare comparisons, complemented by an in-depth view of the roles of various healthcare industries and the emerging digital health landscape. In the second block “Public and Global Health, Home Care, Digital Health Trends”, students will be introduced to roles, actors, policies and examples in public health, global health and various specialty health domains, including pharmacies, telemedicine and rehabilitation medicine – complemented by a view on artificial intelligence in healthcare and electronic health records. In this course students will learn to comprehend, assess and apply information about stakeholders and their interplay in healthcare systems, public health, global health, and specialized health domains - in context of the emerging digital health landscape.


  • Learning Objectives:

    • Describe and discuss fundamental building blocks of healthcare systems and their roles, actors, organisations and policies
    • Identify and interpret the role and impact of healthcare industries in healthcare systems and the emerging digital health landscape
    • Recognize and explain the global health framework, organisations and regulations and describe opportunities and challenges for digital health solutions in global health issues
    • Examine and evaluate the impact and interplay of actors, policies and organisations in creating and implementing digital solutions
    • Analyze and assess opportunities and challenges for telemedicine and create conceptual foundations for winning solutions

  • Characteristics of Class Meetings/Lectures: Twice a week – 26 lectures plus final exam
  • Date and Time: Starts on Monday, October 22, 2018; finishes on Monday, February 4, 2019. No lectures on December 24 and December 31, 2018. First session from 09:15am – 10:45am; second session from 11:15am – 12:45pm
  • Location: HPI, Hörsaalgebäude, Hörsaal 3
  • Software or Materials Required: None
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Course Grading: (final structure is dependent on the number of students enrolled)




Grade %


Assignments (Homework)


Between lectures

No grading

Requirement for admission to exam

2 can be delayed with justification

Assignments (Teamwork)


Between lectures

No grading

Requirement for admission to exam

2 can be delayed with justification








End of semester


Mixed format (MC + free text)

Written exam, 90 minutes





  1. Course Topics and Assignments:
  • Week 1: (10/22/2018) Introduction / “What is a health system?”

    • Goals: Understand the general content of the course and learn about the fundamental building blocks of healthcare systems so you can understand complex healthcare system interactions. Learn about health systems and healthcare policy from an industry insider.

    • Lecture #1: Introduction to Healthcare Fundamentals and Digital Health Trends Course (Erwin Böttinger, Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • Introductions to course participants and faculty
      • Course planning and assignments
      • Team formation
      • Healthcare system knowledge assessment (“Quiz” format)

    • Lecture #2: Fireside chat: Health systems and healthcare policy - industry insider perspective (Prof. Norbert Klusen, ex-CEO Techniker Krankenkasse)

      • Evolution of the German healthcare system over the past 40 years
      • Drivers for healthcare policy reform in Germany
      • Wanted and unwanted effects of healthcare system adjustments
      • Major unsolved issues and potential solutions
      • Outlook on the German healthcare system in the age of digital

    • Readings:

    • Homework #1: Self-study of healthcare systems



  • Week 2: (10/29/2018) Health care systems in practice / international comparisons

    • Goals: Describe and discuss the complex interplay of healthcare stakeholders in real health care systems and recognize differences of healthcare systems based on comparison of select systems. Develop own healthcare system reform ideas.

    • Lecture #1: Healthcare in practice – What is a health system? (Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • Fundamental building blocks of a healthcare system
      • Rules and regulations governing healthcare systems (overview)
      • Economic fundamentals of healthcare systems
      • Core issues facing healthcare systems of today

    • Lecture #2: International Comparisons of Health Systems (Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • Core elements of international health systems (select examples)
      • Sharing first-hand experiences from international students with the healthcare systems of their home country
      • Strengths and weaknesses of international healthcare systems including healthcare policy reform initiatives and their impact

    • Readings:

    • Team Assignment #1: Develop healthcare system reform ideas for a selected healthcare system. Assess key prerequisites and success factors. Present to audience in a concise 5 min presentation (1 chart), followed by short, max. 5 min of discussion.



  • Week 3: (11/05/2018) (Bio-)pharmaceuticals Industry

    • Goals: Understand the basic structure, business and operating model of the (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry. Recognize and interpret the rapid evolution of the (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry in the age of digital.

    • Lecture #1: The (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry – structure, role, global impact and future prospects (Marc Philipp, Managing Director, Accenture)

      • The global (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry – structure, conduct, performance, success factors
      • (Bio-)Pharma global trends
      • Major contributions of global (bio-)pharma and current challenges
      • Healthcare system evolution – (bio-)pharma perspective

    • Lecture #2: The (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry goes digital (Marc Philipp, Managing Director, Accenture)

      • The impact of digital on the global (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry
      • Digital use cases for (bio-)pharma (examples)
      • Shaping digital / digital-enabled business models for (bio-)pharma

    • Readings:

    • Homework #2: Self-study of (bio-)pharmaceuticals industry



  • Week 4: (11/12/2018) Connected Health – the what and how of digital transformation in healthcare

    • Goals: Examine the new realm of digital and connected health opportunities including its success factors, challenges and pitfalls. Distinguish core elements of successful business models. Recognize the evolution of healthcare stakeholders in healthcare systems undergoing digital transformation. Derive implications for the creation of successful digital health business models.

    • Lecture #1 and #2: Connected Health – the what and how of digital transformation in healthcare (Dr. Markus Müschenich, CEO, Flying Health)

      • Potential of digital to revolutionize healthcare
      • Connected Health / digital health core application areas and use cases
      • Success factors and examples of companies and business models
      • How to think about creating a digital health startup
      • Founder tips and tricks

    • Readings:

    • Team assignment #2: Develop digital healthcare innovation ideas: one idea for digital healthcare innovation. Construct an appropriate business model.Present to audience in a concise 5 min presentation (1 chart), followed by 5 min of discussion.



  • Week 5: (11/19/2018) Corporatization of healthcare and the medical technology industry

    • Goals: Identify the healthcare sector as complex interplay of public and private entities and assess the benefits and challenges of corporatization/privatization of healthcare system elements. Recognize and discuss the role, opportunities, challenges and future trends of major healthcare industries such as medical technology. Identify key trends and success factors.

    • Lecture #1: Corporatization of healthcare (Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • The global healthcare industry – major segments and players
      • Industry trends and examples (e.g., M&A)
      • Corporatization success factors and challenges
      • Role of Private Equity (incl. venture capital) in healthcare

    • Lecture #2: Medical technology industry (Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • Medical technology industry overview
      • Medical devices regulation
      • Medical technology in the age of digital

    • Readings:

    • Homework #3: Self-study of healthcare industries



  • Week 6: (11/26/2018) Consumerization in healthcare and Summary “Healthcare Systems and Industries”

    • Goals: Appraise the evolution of the role of patients / consumers in the new healthcare era. Summarize key takeaways and learnings on healthcare systems and industries.

    • Lecture #1: Consumerization in healthcare – empowering the patient (Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • Evolution of the consumer role in healthcare
      • Emergence of direct-to-consumer offerings in healthcare
      • Direct-to-consumer marketing and business models
      • Direct-to-consumer healthcare startups – success cases and failures

    • Lecture #2: Summary “Healthcare Systems and Industries” (Jasper zu Putlitz)

      • Synthesis of key findings and discussion topics
      • Clarification of open questions
      • Course mid-term feedback

    • Readings:

    • Team Assignment / Homework: N/A



  • Week 7: (12/03/2018) Public health system / public health informatics

    • Goals: CEA Winslow defines Public Health as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities, and individuals.” The lectures will provide students with an overview/working knowledge of core functions and essential services of public health systems, with emphasis on the role of digital technologies.

    • Lecture #1: Fundamentals of public health systems (Erwin Böttinger)

      • Who are the key actors in public health systems
      • What are core functions and essential public health services
      • Global challenges for public health systems

    • Lecture #2: Public health surveillance: how data protect populations (Erwin Böttinger)

      • Early warning systems for impending public health emergencies
      • Tracking impact of an intervention,
      • Monitor and clarify the epidemiology of health problems
      • Inform public health policy and strategies

    • Readings:

      • Schneider MJ. Introduction to Public Health (5th Ed.), Jones&Bartlett Learning, Burlington, MA, 2017

        • Parts 1, 2, 7

    • Homework #4:  Self-study of public health system characteristics and digital health.



  • Week 8: (12/10/2018) Electronic health records

    • Goals: Understand the definition, structure, content, use, impact and benefits of electronic health records. Distinguish technical core elements and describe and discuss role models in the area of EHRs. Derive implications for the German market and evaluate different architectures of electronic health records.

    • Lecture #1: Electronic health records (EHR): the When, the Why and the How (Susanne Kreimer & Christian Weiss)

      • Describe and discuss the fundamentals of EHRs- from data semantics to interoperability
      • Identify and interpret the role and benefits of electronic health records for the the patient itself, research, economy and other healthcare stakeholder
      • Identify important actors, organisations and policies in the framework of electronic health records

    • Lecture #2: Cloud-based Electronic Health Records: case study HPS Gesundheitscloud (Susanne Kreimer & Christian Weiss)

      • Identification and description of role models in Europe
      • HPS Gesundheitscloud - a case study
      • Identification of challenges and pitfalls

    • Readings:

    • Team Assignment #3: Evaluate different architectures for electronic health records. Present to audience in a concise 5 min presentation (1 chart), followed by 5 min of discussion.



  • Week 9: (12/17/2018) Regulatory and Policy Framework for Digital Health Businesses / Digital Health Businesses

    • Goals: Healthcare business is regulated based on national policies. The lectures will enable students to understand the impact of regulatory frameworks on development of digital health businesses in different countries/regions. Case studies will illustrate the impact of regulations on markets.

    • Lecture #1: Regulatory and Policy Framework for Digital Health Businesses (Erwin Böttinger)

      • Who sets policies and regulations for digital health businesses (example Telemedicine)?
      • Understand impact of regulations on digital health business opportunities
      • How can digital and conventional health services converge?
      • Metrics for digital health services evaluation: quality, efficiency, cost

    • Lecture #2: Digital Health Business Case Studies

      • Teledoctors (Medi24)
      • Mail-order Pharmacies (DocMorris)
      • AI-powered health apps (Ada Health)

    • Readings:

      • Coming soon

    • Team Assignment #4: Analyze regulatory context for digital health businesses in Germany, in Switzerland. Present to audience in a concise 5 min presentation (1 chart), followed by 5 min of discussion.



  • Week 10: (01/07/2019) Artificial intelligence, digital health, and genomics in healthcare

    • Goals: Week 10 lectures will cover exciting, trending topics in healthcare. The first lecture, AI for Health, will give students an overview of the wide range of applications of AI in health, with a focus on AI for diagnostics and AI in digital health. The second lecture, Convergence of Digital Health and Genomics, will introduce students to the rapidly evolving genomics landscape and how it is helping bring about personalized care, including AI applications in genomics.

    • Lecture #1: Artificial Intelligence for Health (Lee Stopak)

      • Overview of AI
      • Areas of impact for AI in health care
      • Using AI for decision support and diagnostic purposes
      • Democratization of healthcare using digital health and AI
      • Challenges and risks of using AI within a health context
      • Case studies of AI for personal health guides

    • Lecture #2: Convergence of Digital Health and Genomics (Lee Stopak)

      • Introduction to genetics and the genomics industry
      • Using genomics to personalize healthcare
      • Applications of genomics in both clinical and consumer settings
      • Challenges and risks of utilizing genomic information
      • Case studies of consumer genomics offerings

    • Readings:

    • Team Assignment #5: Develop AI-for-health or consumer genomics project proposal. Present to audience as a pitch in a concise 5 min presentation (1slide), followed by a 5min discussion and Q/A.

  • _____________________________________________________________________
  • Week 11: (01/14/2019) Digital Home Care

    • Goals:
    • Describe and discuss fundamental building blocks of the homecare system in Germany and their roles, actors, organisations and policies
    • Identify and interpret the role and impact of private caregivers in homecare and the emerging digital health landscape
    • Recognize opportunities and challenges for digital homecare solutions in 3 main areas            -technological innovations,- medical innovations, -Innovations in communication and education

    • Lecture #1: Introduction to Home Care: Stakeholders, Regulations, Professional and Private Caregivers (Thilo Veil)

      • This lecture aims to provide an insight into the “German way” of providing Home Care with its advantages and disadvantages

    • Lecture #2: Digital Home Care Projects: case study “Töchter &Söhne” (Thilo Veil)

      • This lecture aims to provide an insight into a real digital healthcare Startup, giving real life examples of -How to startup, -Failures, - success factors,- business modeling, -Founder tips and tricks

    • Readings:


    • Homework #5: Identify Challenges in Home Care and assess home care digital health solutions



  • Week 12: (01/21/2019) Global Health

  • Goals:  Recognize opportunities and challenges in addressing global health issues in low-resource healthcare settings through digital health solutions. Understand the basic global health ecosystem with all its relevant type of actors, organisations and policies relevant for implementing digital solutions.  Apply key learnings in a real world case study.

    • Lecture #1:  Introduction toGlobal Health (Solveig Haupt)

      • What is global health and why is it relevant?
      • What are key challenges in low-resource health care settings?
      • Who are key actors and governance mechanisms in global health?
      • What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and why are they relevant ?

    • Lecture #2: Digital Health Projects in Global Health (Solveig Haupt)

      • Key opportunities and challenges for digital health solutions in global health
      • Introduce, analyse and discuss existing digital health solutions for global health issues (case studies)
      • Group exercise: Digital health solution design

    • Team Assignment #6:  Develop a digital healthcare solution idea for addressing a global health issue in a low-resource setting incl. partnership strategy. Present to audience in a concise 5 min presentation (2 charts), followed by 5 min of discussion.



  • Week 13: (01/28/2019) Summary “Public and Global Health, Home Care, Digital Health Trends”

    • Goals: Summarize key takeaways and learnings on public and global health, AI, homecare and digital health trends

    • Lecture #1 and 2: Summary “Public and Global Health, Home Care, Digital Health Trends”, Course Review and Outlook final exam (Erwin Böttinger)

      • Synthesis of key findings and discussion topics
      • Clarification of open questions
      • Course feedback

    • Readings: All previous readings

    • Team Assignment / Homework: N/A



  • Week 14: (02/04/2019) Final exam

    • Goals: Assess your knowledge of healthcare systems and industries, public and global health and digital health

    • Lecture #1: N/A

    • Lecture #2: N/A

    • Readings: N/A

    • Team Assignment / Homework: N/A






  1. Course Staff
  • Module Coordinator:

Dr. Jasmin Cirillo

Referentin Digital Health Center

Campus III Griebnitzsee, Rudolf-Beitscheid-Str. 187

Tel.: +49 331 5509-167


  • Program Administrator: Faculty of Digital Engineering (Student Administration)
  • Lecturers:

    • Prof. Dr. Erwin Böttinger, HPI
    • Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz, Partner, DEDIQ GmbH
    • Solveig Haupt MBA MPH, Manager Business Development, HPS Gesundheitscloud gGmbH
    • Prof. Norbert Klusen, ex-CEO, Techniker Krankenkasse
    • Susanne Kreimer M.D., Head of Medical Intelligence, HPS Gesundheitscloud gGmbH
    • Dr. Markus Müschenich, Founder, Flying Health
    • Marc Philipp MBA LLM, Managing Director, Accenture
    • Lee Stopak M.Sc., Biology and Genetics Developer, Ada Health
    • Dipl.-Ing. Thilo Veil MBA, Managing Director, Töchter & Söhne
    • Dipl.-Kfm. Christian Weiss, Managing Director, HPS Gesundheitscloud gGmbH

  1. Course Policies and Values:
  • Interactive engagement and responsibility: throughout the course, you should be prepared to be active (asking questions, making contributions to discussions) and take responsibility for your contributions
  • Inclusiveness: especially in team assignments, you should integrate with your team and practice collaborative problem solving. However, the course also requires significant self-study
  • Integrity and respect: Be honest and straightforward in expressing yourself. Respect your lecturers, module coordinator and your classmates – this also includes creating an environment conducive to learning, which means being on time, turning off cell phones, listening, and contributing.


Prerequisite for admission to the final examination is the submission of five assignments/homework

(2 out of 5 can be delayed with justification)

Final Exam: 90 minutes written exam, mixed format (MC+free text) on February 4, 2019


Mondays 9:15 am- 10:45 am & 11:15 am - 12:45 pm

Campus I, HS 3

The course starts on Monday, October 22, 2018.