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Embedding Digital Health into the Curricula

Vitamin Web |02, June, 2021

More can be done to support students in developing their own learning towards health technologies in preparation for their future career. If we deem digital health innovations necessary, what can be done to ensure our future workforce are ready and able to use new technologies for health?

Digital health is being further embedded across the University of Plymouth’s health and social care programmes including nursing, occupational therapy and medicine with the aim of increasing students’ skills, knowledge and confidence of digital health innovations, and learning how to support their peers as well as service users in their use.

Students across disciplines have participated in a range of digital health activities extending not only their own understanding of digital health but also in supporting others. Recent activities include students:

  • Supporting the development of and/or participating in digital health schemes that can be embedded within the curricula. At present the Peninsula Medical School and EPIC are working with students and staff to co-design the undergraduate curricula as part of the Division of Education & Scholarship awards. For more information: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/camera/division-of-education-and-scholarship
  • Attending workshops to encourage students to consider current and future use of digital health during placements, generating interest in this topic area. Workshops have been trialled with occupational therapy students and will continue to take place.
  • Linking stakeholders with the EPIC project, growing the projects network and encouraging discussions around the use of digital health.
  • Leading digital health projects as part of the University’s Higher Education Innovation Fund. Five student-led digital health projects have been undertaken. Students have worked with a patient or community group to raise their awareness of digital health and research expertise within the University.

Students are valued stakeholders within the health ecosystem. There is a need to work collaboratively to develop and offer more opportunities, not only to extend students’ awareness of digital health innovations as part of the curricula, but also invite students to learn about and support the co-designing and testing of new digital innovations. The embedding of these activities into the curricula will continue to be explored and extended to a wide range of disciplines. We invite your thoughts towards the designing and development of digital health activities and how best to embed these within the curricula.

For those interested in learning more please contact:

·         Occupational Therapy – Dr Alison Warren (alison.warren@plymouth.ac.uk)

·         Medicine – Dr Mahrukh Mirza (mahrukh.mirza@plymouth.ac.uk)

·         Other programmes – Dr Toni Page (toni.page@plymouth.ac.uk)