Drones in Global Public Health Online Certificate Program

The use of drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles—”UAVs”) in the public health context is relatively new but has been growing significantly over the last three years. Drones are being used globally to solve some of the most common health logistics challenges by circumventing problematic infrastructures on the ground, speeding up delivery processes and making supply chains more responsive. In addition, UAVs are being used to provide real time-imaging, collect data and map large areas quickly.

This online course gives an understanding of how drones are being used in public health, emergency response and related fields. It serves as an introduction to government agencies and other organizations interested in utilizing drones to improve their operations.

Registration for this course closed June 13, 2019. Stay up to date for additional sessions by subscribing to our newsletter. Subscribe »

Program Objectives

  • Understand how drones are being used in global health prevention and response
  • Learn about the growing use of drones and AI for improved disease outbreak monitoring
  • Become familiar with current drone technologies
  • Identify opportunities and limitations of drones in global health
  • Identify regulatory and ethical considerations related to drone use


  • Learn from esteemed USC experts in public health and technology
  • Learn from key industry expert Helena Samsioe of Globhe how they are using drones and AI to identify cholera risk areas and malaria breeding sites
  • Obtain the only university-level certificate in Drones in Global Health upon successful completion of the course

Who Should Attend: This program is intended for professionals working for UN agencies, NGOs, national and local government, research institutions, and others interested in learning how drones can be utilized to improve health delivery and/or emergency response.

Teaching Method: This online course is designed for working professionals to learn the concepts by accessing the content at any time during the course session. This approximately 6 to 8-hour online course fits perfectly into any busy schedule as it can be taken at your own pace over a three-week period. It includes pre-recorded video lectures, interactive case studies, live videoconference sessions with the faculty/subject matter experts (optional), readings and a quiz. Participants will be issued a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Faculty: Shubha Kumar is Director of Education & Training and Assistant Professor at the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. She also directs and teaches in the USC Master of Public Health Online Program. Her professional and research experience include management and leadership of global health and development programs, strategic planning and evaluation, and health systems strengthening. She earned her MPH and PhD in public health management and policy from UCLA.

Key Industry Expert: Helena Samsioe is the CEO and Founder of Globhe, a drone service company using drones and AI to create a better future. Currently, in collaboration with the United Nations, GLOBHE is transforming the way cutting edge technology is solving pressing challenges around the world. Helena has been named Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes, ranked among the top 100 young business leaders in Sweden, named a Top Woman to Watch in the Drone Industry, and been featured as the “Drone Queen” on BBC.

Registration: Registration for this course is not currently open.

For questions about registration, please contact Chrystal Martinez at ccromero@usc.edu.