The growth of digital education globally shows no sign of slowing down. As technology improves, the range of disciplines that can be taught online has expanded rapidly. However, in the field of healthcare, fully online education has been traditionally restricted to areas such as public health and post-registration programmes where learners develop their practice through applying the theoretical knowledge they have developed online to their workplace. We are now starting to see a move towards applying this model to pre-registration healthcare education.
How far are we away from a fully online pre-registration healthcare training in, say, nursing or medicine? With advances in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and robotics, the barrier may well not be technical. We will need rapid and fundamental changes in our pedagogy and the structures in our Universities that deliver healthcare education to make them far more responsive and flexible. In addition, our regulators and policymakers will need to adapt to these changes.
There are several drivers for more digital education in healthcare. Bluntly we need faster and cheaper ways of training the future healthcare workforce but, more fundamentally, there is the impact of the much talked about 4th Industrial Revolution. This will have a transformational impact on the way that healthcare is delivered and will likely change the roles and skills required by clinical staff and all professionals over the next decade or so. There will be far-reaching consequences for the selection, curriculum content, education, training, development and lifelong learning of current and future healthcare staff.
This presentation will discuss the current state of the art in digital healthcare education and explore the pedagogical and policy implementations of a future when fully online healthcare education is the norm.
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