Global Business School for Health


Leading and Managing Health Innovation

Learn how to design and embed appropriate health innovations using a human centred approach, enabling you to find effective solutions to health challenges.

Design thinking and innovation has revolutionised many industries, but effective adoption in health and healthcare has been slow. This course teaches a human centred approach to solving problems, and identifying the right problems to solve.

Health and healthcare managers need to understand how to design and embed appropriate health innovations. Incorporating a range of theories, frameworks and practices in the fields of health innovation and change management, this course offers an opportunity to create solutions to challenges in healthcare settings. Considering everything from design thinking to the political, social and economic factors required to put innovation into practice, participants on this course come away with a well-rounded understanding of the application of health innovations.

What’s involved:

  • Designed to enable participants to be effective in designing and delivering healthcare solutions, this course blends theory with case studies and the fundamentals for practical application within healthcare organisations.
  • The course is taught over three key themes. The first relates to conducting health assessments and includes numerous case studies from the NHS and healthcare settings across the world. The second theme will enable you to look in depth at health innovations and design thinking for creating quick, meaningful and cost effective health innovations. The final theme looks at project management principles to underpin your organisation’s work in health innovation and delivery.
  • As well as learning agile processes for developing innovation in a health context, you’ll also understand how health innovations can create resilient learning organisations as a by-product of change.

Who the programme is for

Our Leading and Managing Innovation short course is for managers across the health and healthcare sector, who have a need to advance their understanding of health innovation. You may work in human resources, in a clinical setting, policymaking or healthcare management. Or you may work in an industry related to health that requires an understanding of health innovation.

Programme curriculum

This course is based on a contextualised approach to learning, with online lectures delivered by the course lead and UCL academics. This is supplemented by reading, participant discussion questions and marked assignments. Much of the learning will be directed through real world case studies and project-based learning from your course lead, who is an expert in health innovation and design thinking.

You’ll learn material paced across three modules over a total of six weeks. Each module involves approximately 10 to 12 hours of content, which includes videos, reading, discussion forum activities and project assignments. A weekly session with your course lead also brings a fruitful opportunity to pull together learning and get involved in group discussion. 

Throughout the course, you will complete self-assessments such as multiple choice quizzes and unmarked self-reflection exercises to help you work through the material. To receive a certificate of completion for this course, you will complete all the marked assignments for each module, which includes a mandatory discussion forum, short written assignments and a final project.  


Health assessments

You will gain the skills required to conduct a health needs assessment and the understanding of approaches around health innovation and intervention development and evaluation. Using a variety of case studies, you will learn about skills for successful collaborative leadership and the importance of involving policy and other stakeholders and translation of knowledge to population, policy and practice. 

Design Thinking for Health Innovation

This module explores historic and current health innovation practices in the UK and other healthcare systems. You will learn about digital health and its impact on health ecosystems, as well as how design thinking can lead to better health innovations and cost savings. Design principles that focus on patient engagement and rapid prototyping will also help you explore solutions to current health challenges.

Project Management

Introducing you to practical project management skills and processes, this module will equip you with the knowledge you’ll need to run projects. You will learn a structured way to managing projects by dividing them into management stages, and gain an understanding of agile project management.

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 need for design thinking in healthcare settings.
  • Use design thinking to develop health and healthcare innovations that solve human centred challenges or problems.
  • Understand theories of change, innovation management and project management, particularly in relation to the implementation of new systems and thinking within organisations.
  • Identify problems in healthcare settings, find solutions, rapidly prototype solutions and design ways for scaling and implementing the change.
  • Put into practice different frameworks for project management, with an understanding of the difference between traditional project management and agile methodology.

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