Notice: For the latest information and guidance on Purdue's response to COVID-19 please visit:

Analytical Approach to Healthcare Delivery


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

  • Evaluate the impact of the following conditions from both a clinical and resource unitlization (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.


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. While this information will be presented in online lecture format, deeper assessments of key aspects will be assigned on a weekly basis. Finally, an important aspect of the course is an oral and written report on a clinical subject of each student's choosing (in lieu of examinations). Many students taking this course as part of the Online Engineering MS Program will likely consider a concentration in pharmaceutical manufacturing in the future. For such students, this course will provide a clinical framework for the pharmaceutical market and serve as a precursor for more technical electives taken subsequently. Based on this anticipated development, pharmaceutic management of different diseases will be highlighted throughout the course. Even for those students not selecting a concentration in pharmaceutical manufacturing, the clinical framework established by this course will be helpful, especially since pharmaceutic-based disease management is the cornerstone of treatment in the US healthcare system.
Summer 2020 Syllabus

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 Purdue Online Engineering students. An introductory biology course is recommended but not mandatory.

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50


Recommended 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: