To Screen or not to Screen? Methods and health policies through case studies - University of Geneva



Important information

  • Course
  • Online

The following course, offered by Coursera, will help you improve your skills and achieve your professional goals. During the program you will study different subjects which are deemed to be useful for those who want to enhance their professional career. Sign up for more information!

Important information

Where and when

Starts Location
08 October 2016

What you'll learn on the course


Course programme

Current and future public health is characterized by the increase of chronic and degenerative diseases, corresponding to the worldwide ageing of the population. The increasing prevalence of these conditions together with the long incubation period of the chronic diseases and the restless technological innovations, offer new opportunities to develop strategies for early diagnosis. It is an important task of public health to critically assess the promises and the pitfalls of screening strategies. In this perspective, this MOOC will detail the background concepts of early diagnosis, the methods to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of screening programs, the tools available of scaling up a local program, etc. In a second part of the course, current and future trends in screening in several conditions will be presented, including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, prenatal and neonatal conditions (including genetic screening), and communicable disease. By the end of this MOOC, students should be able to develop a public health perspective on screening and to actively participate to the evaluation of screening strategies. This MOOC has been prepared under the auspices of the Ecole romande de santé publique ( by Prof. Fred Paccaud, MD, MSc, Head of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Lausanne (, in collaboration with Professor Antoine Flahaut, MD, PhD, head of the Institute of Global Health, Geneva ( learning plays a key role in lifelong learning. In fact, a recent report by the United States Department of Education found that "the courses that include online education (either completely virtual or blended learning) produce, on average, much stronger learning outcomes for students courses They are conducted exclusively in person. Based on an approach developed by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom, the mastery learning helps students to fully understand a subject before moving on to a more advanced. In Coursera, usually we give an answer immediately to the concepts that the student does not understand feedback. In many cases, we offer random versions of assessments for the student to return to school and retrying until mastered the concept.