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Home » Course Catalogue » MBA Electives » RSM2085H – Healthcare Innovation (Spring 2023)

RSM2085H – Healthcare Innovation (Spring 2023)

General Information


Promotional Video

Applicable Emphases:
(m) = Main, (s) = Supplemental

  • n/a

Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Health Sector Management (c)
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship (c)

Note: This course was previously known as RSM2083

Instructor Bio

Zayna Khayat is adjunct faculty in the Health Sector Strategy stream at the Rotman School of Management (since 2012). Zayna is VP of Business Development & Strategy with Teladoc Health in Canada. Teladoc Health’s mission is to provide a new kind of healthcare experience with greater convenience, outcomes, and value. Zayna Khayat previously co-founded and led the Futures team at the national home health and aging non-profit, SE Health, as their Future Strategist. In 2017 she spent the year on secondment in the Netherlands as Health Innovation Sherpa with the REShape Innovation Center at Radboud University Medical Centre.  From 2014 to 2017, Zayna led the health system innovation platform at MaRS Discovery District. Dr. Khayat had an 11-year career in strategy consulting, first with the Boston Consulting Group’s Toronto office from 2001 to 2010, and then as an associate principal with SECOR/KPMG.  She holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Toronto and Sickkids, with a focus on insulin action and diabetes. She is also faculty with Singularity University in the Exponential Medicine stream.

Target Audience

Learners seeking to understand the drivers, landscape, barriers, models and future direction of health innovation* in Canada and globally.

*Health Innovation = new or better ways to create value in health and care. It does not mean technology or commercialization of R&D, although technology can be a key enabler to unlock value from health innovations. Technology commercialization, pharma, medtech, etc. are not the focus of this course, although the evolving roles of these agents in modernizing healthcare through innovation is incorporated at several points.


  • Weekly 2 hour sessions from 6:30-8:30pm (Thursdays)
  • 12 weeks, beginning Thursday, January 19 and ending April 6, 2023
  • Friday, March 3, 9:00-12:30 EST: Innovation Safari in the field

Course Mission

The learner will:

  • Understand what health innovation is, what it is not, the types of innovation, and how innovation is distinguished from other activities such as creativity, invention, commercialization, and quality improvement
  • Explore why health innovation is an imperative for 21st century health organizations from multiple lenses – the patient, health providers, health delivery organizations, health systems, regulators, academia, and private agents in industry
  • Understand and critically reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated, decelerated, or had nominal impact on key aspects of health innovation covered in the course, with an emphasis on the Canadian landscape
  • Understand how to “do” health innovation – starting from a problem or idea, through to impact and value capture at scale. Understand what tools and methods health innovators effectively deploy, and what methods are appropriate for different contexts
  • Explore how complex and regulated health care organization and systems drive innovation in their clinical, strategic and operational contexts. Understand how they are internally building capacity for “intra-preneurship”, and organizing for health innovation.
  • Appreciate the systemic facilitators and barriers to capturing the full value from health innovation – with an emphasis on culture, policy, technology, business models and data flow
  • Apply the frameworks and concepts of the course via individual and group assignments that appraise health innovation responses across multiple agents in the healthcare system through a COVID pandemic lens

Course Scope

Innovation is now an imperative for our health and wellness as individuals and as a society.  The COVID pandemic forced a reconsideration of models of healthcare delivery and presented new challenges for our physical and mental health.  The course will use Clay Christensen’s book Innovator’s Prescription as well as select concepts and frameworks provided by the faculty to provide a theoretical understanding of what is happening in health innovation in general, and as we emerge from the global pandemic.  We will discuss live examples of how things are changing across many sectors and patient populations of the health sector and broader industry.  Students will emerge with a robust and timely toolkit for how to think about innovation and to bring structure to the innovation process in the post-pandemic era.

Through the use of one core textbook, relevant thought pieces in the literature, real world examples, field work, and guest speakers who are leading thinkers and practitioners in health innovation, the course will cover the following key topics, using the post-pandemic landscape as the lens:

I.   Health Innovation Fundamentals – Why? -The Health Innovation Imperative – for patients, clinicians, health systems and governments/economies; What Health Innovation Is (and is not), Types of Innovation, including a deep dive on Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory (core text)

II. Health Innovator’s Toolbox – The health innovation process, and key tools, methodologies and practices that health innovator’s deploy in their work

III. Future of Healthcare (and Enabling Technologies) – where health and healthcare is going (trends, shifts); how and where exponential technologies are enabling new business models that were not previously possible; how health innovation itself is evolving, including from a lens of the COVID19 pandemic.

IV. Health Innovation Actors – Understand the Landscape and implications of Health Innovation from the lens of key players: Patients & families, Providers/health workforce, Delivery Organizations, Health Systems, Industry, Startups, Academia, Government, New Entrants and more.

V.  Barriers to Health Innovation – systemic policy, technology, business models, data flow, and other barriers to health innovation adoption at scale; how managers navigate them; how system innovators tackle these barriers

VI. Organizing for Innovation – different models that complex health organizations are adopting in order to build capacity to lead innovation in the new health economy

Evaluation and Grade Breakdown

ComponentDue DateWeight
Class Engagement
Participation in class discussions, adding ideas/tips, showing up on time, attendance
Ongoing 5%
Learning Journal
Biweekly reflection on learnings & insights related to the content from the
past two weeks: ~300-500 words every two weeks
Sunday after lectures on Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, & 1210%
Innovation Safari
Report – visit or interview the innovation team at a major Canadian health organization.
Write a report about their approach to “organize for innovation” using the framework
provided in class
In-person debrief: 1 week after the Safari
Final report:
End of Week 6
Startup Critique
Paper – up to 4 high growth health startups will pitch in our class. Using the Business
Model Canvas and other tools/concepts from the class, make the case for which of
the startups you would invest in if you were an angel or VC investor, and why you
would not invest in the others
End of Week 1025%
Group Assignment
Innovation Project – Cold Case. Choose a “cold case” innovation that was
proven to have value in a Canadian or other context, but has not been
implemented to scale in a given jurisdiction or care pathway. Come up with a pivot or better execution plan to fully capture the potential value from the solution. Demonstrate how you use key tools and methods for health innovation taught in the course: mainly Christensen Disruption theory, Doblin types of innovation, barriers to innovation, design sprint & business model canvas
2 weeks after final class 35%

Required Resources

Core text (selected chapters): Clay Christensen: The Innovator’s Prescription

Last Updated: 2022-07-06 @ 10:50 am