CCST9084 Science, Technology and Big Data

From Ancient Remedies to Modern Medicine: A Historical Perspective on Health Technology

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • The Quest for a Meaningful Life (UQM)

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive overview of the history and evolution of health technology and well-being, from ancient times to the present day, and into the future. It provides students with a deep understanding of the way how technology has impacted the delivery of medical care and the improvement of health outcomes, and how these trends are likely to continue.

The course begins by exploring ancient medical practices. It then moves on to examine the evolution of surgical techniques and medical tools, and the impact of these advancements on modern medicine.

In the present day, the course covers the latest developments in medical technology, and the impact of these technologies on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. The course will also discuss the future of healthcare delivery, including the potential for new models of care to transform the healthcare industry and the impact of technological advances on the future of health technology and well-being. 

Through a blend of lectures, tutorials, and field trips, students will gain a broad understanding of the history, present and future of health technology and well-being, and the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the basic concept of common illness, the difference between the ancient and modern management.
  2. Understand how technology helps to improve our health and promote physical wellbeing.
  3. Describe and explain the evolution of medicine.
  4. Build up competencies in communication skills, critical thinking, specifically oral, written and visual literacies.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 8
Fieldwork / Visits 16
Reading / Self-study 30
Assessment: Group poster production and presentation 24
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 22
Total: 124

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Field Trip report 15
Lecture and tutorial participation 30
Poster presentation 40
Short essay 15

Required Reading

  • Castiglioni, A. (1941). A History of Medicine (1st ed.). Routledge. From https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429019883
  • Donovan, W. H. (2007). Spinal Cord Injury-Past, Present, and Future. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 30, 85-100.
  • Ernst, E. (2022). Alternative Medicine: A Critical Assessment of 202 Modalities. Cham, Springer International Publishing AG. [pp. 15-35]
  • Goldacre, B. (2010). Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. McClelland & Stewart.
  • Howland, J. (2019, December 23). A history of Orthopaedics. Authors Press.
  • Klenerman, L. (2002, January 7). The Evolution of Orthopaedic Surgery (1st ed.). Holder Education Publishers.
  • Lasagna, L. (1964). Hippocratic Oath. From https://web.facdent.hku.hk/grad/2022/Hippocratic%20Oath.pdf
  • Mukherjee, S. (2022). The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human. Scribner. [Part One Chapter on “The pathogenic cell: microbes, infections, and the antibiotic revolution”]
  • Porter, R. (Ed.). (2006). The Cambridge history of medicine. Cambridge University Press.
  • Schneider, D. (2020). The Invention of Surgery: A History of Modern Medicine: From the Renaissance to the Implant Revolution. Pegasus Books.
  • Topol, E. (2019). Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. Basic Books.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr T.M. Wong
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LI Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Tel: 2255 4581
Email: wongtm@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr T.M. Wong
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LI Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Tel: 2255 4581
Email: wongtm@hku.hk
Dr C.Y. Lam
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LI Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Tel: 2255 5228
Email: lamclive@hku.hk
Dr Janus S.H. Wong
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, LI Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Tel: 2255 4581
Email: januswong@connect.hku.hk