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Analytical Approach to Healthcare Delivery


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

  • Evaluate the impact of the following conditions, from both a clinical and resource utilization (cost) perspective: coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke, arthritis, sepsis, and acute kidney injury.
  • Analyze the major segments of medical products (pharmaceutical/biotechnology compounds and medical devices) along with the regulatory framework applying to each of these segments.
  • For the biopharmaceutical industry, determine the major components of the drug development process and the manner in which drug pricing factors into the risk/reward equation.
  • Assess US health economics by identifying the major cost drivers in the healthcare system (hospital care; physician costs; drugs and other medical products).
  • Formulate a basic understanding of the sources of health insurance coverage in the US, including the differences between government-based (Medicare/Medicaid) and commercial payers.
  • Explain several evolving trends which have the potential to influence healthcare substantially in the future, including precision medicine, artificial intelligence, digital health, and value-based care.
  • For COVID-19, characterize the important clinical aspects and its profound impact on the US healthcare system.


This course provides a "real world" overview of healthcare delivery in the United States (US). The topics covered include the major medical product segments, regulatory framework, and financial considerations, including costs, health insurance, and reimbursement. A series of critical medical conditions having the highest impact on the US healthcare system are discussed and patient case studies are presented to illustrate important aspects of these disorders. In addition, several emerging healthcare developments, including precision medicine, artificial intelligence, digital health, and value-based care, are addressed. Finally, the numerous ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected patients and the manner in which they receive healthcare will be discussed.

While the above information will be presented didactically in online lecture format, deeper assessments of key aspects will be assigned on a regular basis for applied learning. In this regard, oral and written reports on a topic of each student's choosing (in lieu of examinations) are an important component of the class. An additional way in which students will gain practical knowledge is through a series of case studies over the course of the semester.

In addition to this class, students interested in the healthcare field are also likely to find two other classes offered by Purdue Online (PO) to be useful: Medical Devices: Development and Clinical Application (also offered in Summer 2021) and Medical Technology Development in the COVID-19 Era (to be offered in Fall 2021). Steps are being taken now to bundle these three courses into a Healthcare Technology certificate and concentration for students enrolled in PO programs. Of note, this course and the Medical Devices: Development and Clinical Application course are being offered this year in successive sessions, allowing interested students to take both courses during the Summer 2021 semester.
Summer 2021 Syllabus

Instructor Biographical Information: Dr. Clark is a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and chemical engineer by training. He received his M.D. degree along with specialty and sub-specialty training in internal medicine and nephrology, respectively, at Indiana University School of Medicine. In addition, he received both his B.S and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University, at which he is now Professor of Engineering Practice in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering. Before joining the Purdue faculty, Dr. Clark worked in the medical device (dialysis) industry for more than 20 years in a variety of positions. Dr. Clark continues to serve as a consultant in the dialysis industry.

Topics Covered:

US Healthcare System Overview; Cardiovascular Disease; Obesity; Diabetes; Kidney Disease; Cancer; Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease; Alzheimer's Disease and Stroke; Chronic Liver Disease; Critical Care Medicine; Biopharmaceutical Industry; Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing; Medical Device Industry; Healthcare Spending; Health Insurance; Fundamentals of Clinical Research; Artificial Intelligence; Precision Medicine; Value-Based Care; Digital Health; Technology Evolution


The course is open to all PEO students. An introductory biology course is recommended but not mandatory.

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50


Recommended (not required) Texts:
Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, Edited by John E. Hall, Elsevier, 2016, 13th ed, ISBN: 978-1-4557-7005-2
Crowley's An Introduction to Human Disease: Pathology and Pathophysiology Correlations, Edited by Emily Reisner, Howard Reisner, Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2017, 10th ed, ISBN 978-1284050233
Health Care Delivery in the United States, Edited by James R. Knickman, Anthony Kovner, Springer, 2015, 11th ed, ISBN: 978-0826125279

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Requirements:


Tuition & Fees: