Lessons in Digital Health

Elective course at Semmelweis Medical School

Dr. Bertalan Meskó


Purpose: Presenting how disruptive technologies will change healthcare and teaching students how to use technologies on an advanced level to support their future work instead of replacing the doctor-patient personal relationship.


Format: 9 seminars. Each seminar consists of 10 minutes of lecture and 80 minutes of workshop, online tasks, writing essays and using digital technologies in person.


Students: Pre-exam includes the submission of an essay about why they want to learn about disruptive technologies. 20 students get admitted to the course.


Grading (100 points): Attending 80% of the lectures is obligatory.

Student presentation on the 9th seminar: 20-40 points

Two online surveys about their experience with the course: 10 points

Writing two essays: 20 points each

Activity during the seminars: 10 points


61-70 points: a grade of 2

71-80 points: a grade of 3

81-90 points: a grade of 4

91-100 points: a grade of 5


Recommended movies for the course:

The Fifth Element (3D printing)

Gattaca (genomics)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (brain-computer interface)

Prometheus (robot companion)

Robot & Frank (robot companion, elderly care)

Elysium (ethical issues)

The Zero Theorem (VR)

Lucy (brain enhancements)

Ex Machina (AI)

Her (AI)


Recommended books for the course:

Ready Player One (VR)

Afterparty & Nexus (brain enhancements)

The Circle (privacy)

Brave New World (genomics)


Short description of the course:

Digital health is the cultural transformation of how disruptive technologies that provide digital and objective data accessible to both caregivers and patients leads to an equal level doctor-patient relationship with shared decision-making and the democratization of care.

This course aims at presenting how disruptive technologies will change healthcare and preparing students how to use these on an advanced level to support their work instead of replacing the doctor-patient personal relationship.

It covers topics such as challenges of of privacy in the technological world; digital health in underdeveloped regions; the new generation of e-patients; implementing technologies into everyday healthcare; health management and challenges about data; the evolution of disruptive technologies; or ethical questions related to the future of medicine through science fiction.

The curriculum involves seminars, group tasks, games and discussions with students.

Week Date Type of course
1. Sept. 13. Introduction to digital health
2. Sept. 20. Searching for, digesting and sharing information
3. Sept.. 27. Digital health in action
4. Oct. 11. From diagnosis to treatment and from information to wisdom
5. Nov .8. Health management with technologies
6. Nov 22. Disruptive technologies
7. Nov 29. Privacy in the digital world & Ethical issues of the future
8. Dec 6. Students presenting their final projects
9. Dec 13. Predicting the future

Thursdays 10-11.30 in EOK room 4.