Technology in Health Care


Medical technologies, including biopharmaceutical compounds, medical devices, diagnostics, and data analytic processes, are a critical pillar in the healthcare system. Technology advances have led to increases in the efficiency of healthcare delivery along with improved patient outcomes. The pace at which these advances are occurring continues to accelerate and individuals supporting medical technology development require a broad understanding of the healthcare field to be successful. Chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and chronic kidney disease, account for approximately 90% of the $4 trillion spent annually on healthcare in the United States.

Purdue University offers is a series of three online healthcare technology courses for students aspiring for a career in the healthcare industry or professionals currently employed in the field. The curriculum is designed to expand their knowledge of medical technology and advance their careers in the healthcare field.

The below study plan includes three project-based courses that provide students a comprehensive view of the healthcare system and the critical importance of the medical products industry in supporting the delivery of care.

Who Should Take The Courses

Engineering students and professionals currently working in or interested in the healthcare field, especially in the areas of product development, research, manufacturing, and supply chain of medical technology.


Prior biology, physics (mechanics), and calculus classes (or instructor permission).


Students can choose the professional development non-credit pathway.

Cost: $2,700/course*

Register for the professional development courses here

*This cost does not reflect the tuition if these courses are taken for academic credit. Please see below concerning information about academic credit.

Career Outlook in Healthcare Technology

New disease-modifying and life-saving medical technologies will be needed to manage the ever-growing number of patients with diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and chronic kidney disease. These technologies will be supported by robust annual revenue growth of 6-7% projected for both the biopharmaceutical and medical device/diagnostic sectors over the next several years. These sectors will especially need engineers in the areas of research, development, manufacturing, and supply chain.

Start Dates

Course Date

Analytical Approach to Healthcare Delivery


Medical Devices: Development and Clinical Application


Medical Technology Development in the Covid-19 Era


Courses in Healthcare Technology

Analytical Approach to Healthcare Delivery

The course is divided into three segments. The first involves an evaluation of several clinical conditions having important public health implications, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic kidney disease. The second is an analysis of the two major components of the medical product industry (pharmaceutical/biotechnological compounds and medical devices) along with the regulatory framework applying each. The final segment focuses on emerging healthcare issues, including precision medicine, digital health, and artificial intelligence. Throughout the course, both clinical and economic perspectives complement the technology-related information provided to students.

Learning Objectives:

  • 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.

  • Determine the major components of the drug development process and the manner in which drug pricing factors into the risk/reward equation for the biopharmaceutical industry.

  • 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.

  • Characterize the important clinical aspects and the profound impact of COVID-19 on the US healthcare system.

Medical Devices: Development and Clinical Application

This course examines the large medical device sector of extracorporeal treatments, highlighting dialysis as the only long-term, device-based replacement therapy for terminal organ failure (end-stage renal disease: ESRD). The biocompatibility and transport characteristics of extracorporeal membranes are assessed along with the operating conditions for different dialysis-based ESRD treatments. The evolution of dialysis from clinical, technological, policy, and commercial market perspectives is discussed. Extracorporeal support therapies used for conditions beyond renal failure are also addressed. Finally, the course presents industry-focused concepts in medical device development, including verification/validation, lean manufacturing, project management, and regulatory issues.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the interactions between different organ systems, including the heart, lungs, and kidneys, and extracorporeal medical devices.

  • Assess the mechanisms of blood-surface interactions defining the biocompatibility of an extracorporeal device.

  • Evaluate the influence of extracorporeal membrane structure and material on transport properties (diffusion, convection, and ultrafiltration) and the overall effect on device performance.

  • Analyze device-related and patient-related (physiologic) parameters required for kinetic modeling of different dialysis therapies.

  • Apply fundamental chemical engineering principles in the analysis of treatments for specific clinical disorders beyond end-stage renal disease, including acute kidney injury, sepsis, cardiac failure, liver failure, and respiratory failure.

  • Characterize the major components of a medical device company and the manner in which these different functions interact during the pre-market and post-market phases of product development.

  • Understand the regulatory expectations for objective evidence in support of medical device approval, including concepts as part of the Quality System, Risk Management, and Design Controls.

  • Recognize engineering roles in manufacturing considerations of a medical device, including concepts in Lean manufacturing and process validation.

Medical Technology Development in the Covid-19 Era

This course discusses the profound and lasting impact of the pandemic on the healthcare system. The first part of the course addresses the clinical aspects of COVID-19 along with case discussions about the manner in which it has fundamentally altered healthcare delivery. The general principles of medical technology development (drugs and devices) serve as a foundation for learning specific to COVID-19, including the development of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and diagnostics. The effect of COVID-19 on the operational aspects of biopharmaceutical and medical device companies is also explored, with a focus on manufacturing and supply chain. Finally, the critical role that public health organizations, including the FDA and CDC, have played in the evolution of the pandemic are discussed. In addition to Purdue faculty, instructors include industry and government experts.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the major clinical features of COVID-19 disease and the major preventive or therapeutic interventions.

  • Understand how a public health emergency like COVID-19 changes the regulatory landscape for medical products.

  • Characterize the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operational aspects of biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, especially from the development, manufacturing, and supply chain perspectives.

  • Identify the mechanisms by which several companies have modified their internal processes in response to the pandemic.

  • Identify several long-standing effects that COVID-19 will have on healthcare delivery along with medical technology development, production, and distribution.

Student Testimony

“Working in the medical device development field, it is key to understand disease states and treatment options. The Analytical Approach to Healthcare Delivery course gave me important insights about timely, efficient, and cost-effective design processes and has helped me become a more effective team member.”

Tanner Rothstein, Developer, Mayo Clinic

Academic Credit

These courses are also offered for academic credit. A student desiring to apply for academic credit will receive an official Purdue University transcript the semester after the student has completed the course.

Prospective students will need to apply as a non-degree seeking student to take the courses for academic credit. For questions to transfer these courses to a future Purdue Engineering Master's degree, please review the Frequently Asked Questions page for further information concerning transfer credits.

Current students should reach out to an academic advisor to register for the online courses. Please visit the graduate engineering online course schedule.

Tuition to earn the courses for academic credit are consistent with Purdue online engineering master's degree programs. See below:

Indiana Resident Tuition: $3,417/course, Non-Indiana Resident Tuition: $4,146/course

Questions for academic courses can sent be to