Unmet Needs in Healthcare: Strategy and Solutions

  • Hybrid
  • $1,250 - $2,500

This is one of two courses in the UBC Micro-certificate in Innovation Management.

In our complex healthcare sector, identifying and addressing unmet medical needs creates opportunities for innovation, enhanced patient care and industry growth. This course addresses the critical challenge of bridging the gap between current healthcare solutions and the unmet needs of patients by diving into the complexities of regulatory landscapes, stakeholder perspectives and market dynamics.

Developed by UBC’s School of Biomedical Engineering, this ten-week course is designed for healthcare professionals, biotech and pharmaceutical industry workers, policy makers, public health advocates and researchers passionate about improving healthcare outcomes through strategic innovation.

This course offers a pathway to drive the development of innovative, effective and equitable healthcare solutions. By the end of the course, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize the scope and variety of unmet medical needs within the healthcare market
  • Understand and integrate diverse stakeholder perspectives
  • Develop strategies that effectively meet identified needs and consider regulatory, market and technological dynamics
  • Apply concepts in real-world scenarios to strategize solutions for unmet medical needs
  • Navigate the regulatory and market landscapes that impact the development and implementation of solutions

Course outline

Module 1: Introduction to Unmet Needs & Regulatory Authorities and Developers

This module will set the stage by highlighting how discoveries are made and the importance of understanding diseases from multiple perspectives to develop effective therapeutic strategies.

Module 2: Underserved Patient Populations & Translating Research Discoveries

This module will focus on the key challenges of lacking data for underserved populations and how bridging this gap is crucial for equitable healthcare innovation.

Module 3: Clinical Trial and Regulatory Considerations & Patient-Centered Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research

This module will delve into the clinical trial design and regulatory frameworks that are foundational for translating discoveries into patient-ready solutions, including the evolving role of digital health.

Module 4: Digital Health/Pandemic Preparedness & Regulatory Incentives to Foster Innovation

This module will explore ethical considerations alongside the technological and regulatory advancements, highlighting how digital health is reshaping the approach to healthcare challenges.

Module 5: Final Workshop & Course Wrap-up

This module will synthesize the course content, offering participants the opportunity to apply their knowledge to comprehensive case studies that reflect the full spectrum of the discovery and development process. In the final full-day workshop, students will complete case studies while taking on the roles of patients, caregivers, advocacy groups, researchers, drug/device developers, regulatory authorities and health authorities. This hands-on experience reinforces the course's aim to prepare participants to contribute meaningfully to closing the gap between unmet medical needs and the solutions that can address them.

How am I assessed?

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, including assignments that analyze specific healthcare gaps, weekly reflections on course material, active participation in live Q&A sessions, contributions to online discussion forums, and the development of a capstone project.

These evaluation methods are designed to assess your grasp of key concepts in the identification and analysis of healthcare market opportunities, as well as key considerations in solution development with an emphasis on practical and strategic thinking.

This course operates on a pass/fail basis. Engagement across all components of the course is crucial for meeting the passing criteria, confirming your proficiency in identifying and addressing unmet medical needs in healthcare.

Learner evaluation

Live session participation: 10%

Quizzes: 20%

Reflection assignments: 20%

Discussion participation: 20%

Capstone project: 30%

Expected effort

Expect to spend one to 2.5 hours per week completing all learning activities, including attending real-time online sessions and attending the workshop.

Technology requirements

To take this program, you need access to:

  • an email account
  • a computer, laptop or tablet
  • the latest version of a web browser (or previous major version release)
  • a reliable internet connection
  • a video camera and microphone


You can take this course on its own or opt to pursue the UBC Micro-certificate in Innovation Management: Medical and Bio-innovations by also completing Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy and Management. [link]

The Innovation Management micro-certificate program consists of two courses of ten weeks each. You may take the courses in any order. Combined, the courses take 50 to 70 hours to complete.

Course format

This part-time blended course is instructor-supported and combines real-time online sessions with independent study. In Week 10, there is a full-day workshop at the UBC Vancouver campus. The workshop is also accessible online, allowing remote learners to actively participate.

Every other week, learners can participate in real-time online Q&A sessions. On their own time, learners can access pre-recorded video lectures, case studies, and readings, contribute to online discussion forums, and work on weekly reflections, assignments and the capstone project.

Available sessions

Available course sessions
Start date Sessions Days Time Format Tuition Description
10 sessions Tues, Sat 9:00 am, 5:30 pm Hybrid $1,250 - $2,500

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