The biggest healthcare questions of the 21st century

In this post we round up some of the biggest questions facing healthcare today, and the courses we have to help you tackle them.

In this post we round up some of the biggest questions facing healthcare today, and the courses we have to help you tackle them.

Just 16 years into the 21st century, seven vaccines have already been developed; campaigns are ongoing to eradicate diseases such as smallpox and polio; and there’s drugs to hugely reduce your chance of getting HIV.

Healthcare has come a long way.

But it has a long way yet to go. As the 21st century gets underway, healthcare faces some big questions…

How can we respond effectively to fast moving diseases?


In early 2015 rumblings about the Zika virus began to travel across the globe; by February 2016 Zika was declared a full-blown crisis – a ‘PHEIC’ or Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

In recent years there have been several PHEICs – swine flu in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014 and then Zika in 2016. There’s no doubt that there will be more to come, meaning those working in healthcare must develop the skills to cope in these situations – considering everything from infrastructure in developing countries to international collaboration.

Increase your knowledge by learning from the team who fought Zika or finding out more about influenza.

How can we use genes?


Gene science has come a long way since 1952, when Rosalind Franklin first captured DNA in Photograph 51. We’ve sequenced all sorts of genomes, saved a young life using gene editing and one company is even aspiring to sequence your entire genome for just $999. The potential for gene science is enormous, if we can ensure it’s used responsibly and effectively.

Learn more about the world of genes with one of these courses:

How do we fight obesity?


This year a study published in the Lancet claimed that for the first time there are more obese than underweight people. Medical intervention for such a large number of people just isn’t feasible. Curbing the number of obesity-related health problems will mean learning how to use, and educate others about, exercise and nutrition.

Start tackling the obesity crisis with one of these courses:

How can we create technology that helps healthcare?


There is now a serious array of tech to help both healthcare professionals and patients – from day-to-day devices like Fitbits and iWatches, to established kit like pacemakers and blood glucose monitors, to more futuristic virtual doctors and VR surgical training.

But creating new technology is a costly and complex process. How can we ensure we’re creating technology that’s fit for purpose? And how can we teach people to use it?

Get some answers with eHealth: Combining Psychology, Technology and Health.

How can we improve mental health services?


One in four adults experience mental health problems. That should mean that improving mental health services is top of every government agenda, but when there’s pressure in other areas (like the outbreaks mentioned above) it can be difficult. Are there ways healthcare professionals can help people improve their own mental health?

Find out with Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture or Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance.

What challenges do you think healthcare faces? Let us know in the comments below.

And if you haven’t found a course that’s right for you here, you can always check out all of our healthcare courses.

Category Healthcare

Comments (3)


  • Dorie

    Will the government change my healthcare priorities now that I am retired and no longer a productive member of society. A taxpayer.

  • Tom Mullane

    I am looking for a course that covers an introduction to Addiction Studies

    • Dorie

      That would be amazing if there was a course that covers compassion and addiction.