Global Business School for Health


Leading and Managing Health Innovation

Deliver impactful solutions addressing real world challenges through applying a human-centered approach to effectively scope, design, and embed successful health innovations.

In order to address the dramatically increasing challenges in health and healthcare globally, design thinking is widely seen as an essential tool for health innovation. Design thinking has revolutionised many industries. Nevertheless, effective application and adoption within complex health systems has been slow. 

This unique executive education course has been designed by world leading UCL experts to enable you to succeed as a health leader through applying human-centered approaches. You will enhance your understanding of the stages of innovation and develop the essential multidisciplinary skills to develop impactful solutions to tackle real health challenges. 

Unique career-changing experience

Delivered by the UCL Global Business School for Health (UCL GBSH) – the world’s first business school dedicated to health – our Leading and Managing Health Innovation executive education course has been thoughtfully designed to provide maximum value for busy professionals who look to grow as leaders and drive new ideas and entire organisations forward. 
This course incorporates a unique blend of short impactful content, practical take-home tools, tailored skill building, and case studies from global health innovation leaders demonstrating successful application in the real world. In addition, over the course of the 6 weeks, you will benefit from tailored approaches to develop as an empathetic and effective leader through applying transformative leadership principles and leveraging facilitated opportunities to connect with inspiring leaders and like-minded peers. 

Leveraging global perspectives and best practices

Embarking on this executive education course brings you the exceptional benefits of studying at a worldwide top 10 university with a unique global lens, internationally renowned health credentials, and a commitment to developing and applying evidence-based best practices. Complete with a new network of like-minded health innovators from all over the world, you’ll come away with the essential skills to identify and develop health innovations through a human-centered approach. You will also learn key methods to successfully scale and spread these solutions to achieve far-reaching health impact. 

Build your innovation toolbox

Transformative health leaders need to harness a broad set of skills to effectively design and embed health innovation considering real-world constraints. Successful leaders also need to inspire change by engaging broad sets of stakeholders and empowering high-functioning teams.

Build your innovation toolkit through incorporating concepts, frameworks, and practices from a range of disciplines not taught together in any traditional curriculum. You will leave this course equipped with the most essential tools to navigate the unique challenges of leading health innovation from human-centered design, UX research, QI methodology, project and product management, to essential leadership approaches. 

What’s involved:

  • Designed and delivered by renowned global experts with a track record of leading system and technology innovation, this course blends the teaching of fundamental concepts with real-world case studies through an interactive and contextualised approach to learning.
  • You will develop a well-rounded understanding of the stages of innovation from a design-thinking perspective and how to apply these in your context.
  • You will acquire the essential multidisciplinary skills for successful innovation through interactive sessions and numerous case study examples delivered by experts from a diverse range of health organisations and settings from across the world.
  • Bridging theory and practice, you will apply these best-practice innovation principles through short assignments designed to advance individual innovation goals and give you tangible tools for application within your organisation.
  • Embracing an active learning and participatory approach, you will be supported throughout the course to develop your identity as a transformative healthcare leader. This will be achieved through tailored leadership development and opportunities for self-reflection and facilitated group discussions based on core leadership, strategic relationship building, and coaching principles.
  • The course will be taught over three modules covering the key phases of the innovation cycle while simultaneously building essential leadership skills for innovation. The first module will cover key principles in the discovery and problem definition phase. The second module addresses team-building and iterative development of effective solutions. The final module covers the principles of successful delivery, scale and spread of impactful health innovation through learning tactical project and product management methodologies.
  • As well as learning agile processes for developing and implementing solutions you’ll also leave with an understanding of how health innovations can create resilient learning organisations as a by-product of change.

Who the programme is for

Our Leading and Managing Health Innovation executive education course is for ambitious health leaders who want to apply cutting-edge principles from a range of disciplines to drive forward their health innovation ideas in a variety of settings. 

  • You may be an innovative clinician leader or healthcare professional with a drive to improve care after seeing the challenges up close, now looking to deepen your innovation skillset.
  • You may hold a leadership role within a health delivery or payor organisation leading change initiatives.
  • You may be a leader within the health industry in companies ranging from digital health to pharmaceuticals.
  • You may be a health technology expert or researcher looking to embed your innovation effectively within complex health systems. 
  • Or you may be a leader in governmental or non-profit/charity sectors advancing population health initiatives.

Health leaders from across these disciplines and organisations with a shared passion for improving the health and wellness of populations will all find their place on this course. The core principles of design-thinking are essential tools for successful innovation across a broad set of health organisations. Expert-delivered case studies in the course will reflect successful examples applied across diverse health settings, geographies, and organisations. 

In this unique programme, you will not only benefit from learning from peers and best practices across a spectrum of health organisations, you will also have the chance to engage in focused small group sessions to achieve more targeted insights and learning.  

Programme curriculum

Incorporating both contextualised and experiential learning, this course includes a combination of educational formats designed to maximise learning and application of key principles for busy and experienced professionals. 

The course will cover the main phases of design thinking applied in health innovation paced across 3 modules over a total of 6 weeks. Each module will include short online lectures with essential content delivered by the course lead, UCL academics, and experts in health innovation from across the globe. Much of the learning will be delivered through real world case studies and project-based learning. The topics for each week will also be supplemented by readings, videos, participant discussions, and hands-on exercises. You will be given access to recorded sessions and pre-reading before the start of the course and throughout the modules. 

The cohort will also gather together for a weekly live session facilitated by your course lead as an opportunity to pull together learnings and deepen exploration of core topics through interactive and small group discussions. As the abilities to build and empower high-functioning teams are key components of successful health innovation, these core competencies of leadership and relationship building will also be developed in small group interactive sessions.

Throughout the course, self-assessments will help you solidify your understanding of the material and apply these in your individual context. Marked work will include short written assignments, participation in a discussion forum, and an applied project. On completion of the course and marked assessments, you will receive a certificate from UCL GBSH.


Module 1: Health Innovation and Assessments

The first module will provide a conceptual overview of innovation and an understanding of the main phases of health innovation using a human-centered approach.
This module will focus on the discovery and definition phases of the design thinking process. You will learn to apply strategies for assessing the wider context, stakeholders, and needs in order to identify the right health innovation problem to solve.  You will also explore essential elements of leadership in order to gain self-understanding and strengthen your ability to lead successfully. 

Module 2: Developing Innovative Solutions

Once the problem space is clearly defined the second module will enable you to employ a human-centered and iterative approach to rapidly ideate, prototype, and test meaningful solutions. 
In order effectively lead teams through the stages of innovation, this module will explore key change management principles and methods to successfully build and empower multidisciplinary teams.

Module 3: Successful Delivery, Scale, and Spread

In order to achieve successful delivery of health innovation, the third module will cover essential project and product management principles to underpin your organisation’s innovation process. This will include learning essential concepts in embedding evaluation for achieving impactful outcomes as well as principles for the successful diffusion of innovation.
As part of your leadership growth journey, the final module will include an exploration of team coaching methods and strategies to deal with conflict resolution.
You will come away from the course with the tangible application of your innovation skills within your own individual project.

Programme Faculty 

Charlotte Wu MD MSc – visiting lecturer at UCL GBSH - Founder, Harness Health Global and Chief Medical Officer & Head of Clinical Product, Syndi Health

Charlotte Wu MD MSc is a primary care physician and clinician leader with extensive experience in strategy leadership and health technology with a unique cross-disciplinary background including medicine, digital health, quality improvement, UX, and product development. She is the Chief Medical Officer & Head of Clinical Product at Syndi Health, creating digital infrastructure for personalised and effective digital health support, and is the founder of Harness Health Global, a healthcare consultancy focused on health system & technology innovation, empathetic design, implementation, and change management. 
She has served as the Vice President, Senior Medical Director for Virtual Primary Care at Teladoc Health, the Director of Adult Primary Care at Boston Medical Center, and has worked alongside digital health companies, governments, health delivery and non-profit institutions across the globe to achieve meaningful improvement in health experience and outcomes.

Charlotte has served as a faculty professor at Harvard University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine. She has been a visiting professor at Penn State College of Medicine and Ottawa-Shanghai Joint School of Medicine, and an invited mentor for the UK Royal College of General Practitioners Innovation Mentorship Programme.

She has served on the Board of Directors or committees for institutions such as the American Medical Association, Digital Therapeutics Alliance, Boston Accountable Care Organization, and Massachusetts State Health Innovations Initiative.  

She received her bachelors degree from Stanford University, her doctorate in medicine (MD) from Yale School of Medicine, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a Faculty Innovation Fellowship with the Harvard Center for Primary Care. She also holds a Masters of Science in User Experience Engineering from the University of London Goldsmiths.

On completion of the Leading and Managing Health Innovation short course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the stages of innovation from a design-thinking perspective and strategies to implement into complex health settings to facilitate the development of meaningful solutions to solve pressing health challenges.
  • Apply design thinking principles to effectively lead teams through the main phases of the innovation life cycle addressed in the 3 modules - from initial discovery and assessment, problem definition, idea development, innovation delivery, to effective scale and spread.
  • Put into practice a range of essential multidisciplinary practices and frameworks drawing from human-centered design, UX research, QI methodology, and relational leadership.
  • Use essential project management and empathetic leadership skills in order to successfully lead crosscutting, multidisciplinary innovation teams.
  • Understand the importance of iterative testing and embedding clear outcome measurement for effective adoption and spread.
  • Leverage strategies for building high-functioning teams and learning organisations using human-centered approaches.

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