Health and Medicine

RMIT Online and Digital Health CRC collaborate to revolutionise healthcare

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With technological advances disrupting and transforming health systems across the world, RMIT Online and the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will deliver a suite of groundbreaking courses in digitally-enabled healthcare to enhance industry-led innovation and ensure Australia continues to be a global leader in delivery of best practice care.

As increased demand and the COVID-19 pandemic put health systems worldwide under pressure, the need to adopt technologies that deliver better patient care and curb health costs has become critical.

Wearable sensors to monitor chronic conditions, Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistance in detecting cancer earlier, and algorithms that assess the risk of diabetes are among the advancements that can be enabled by digital health technologies. They also allow patients to be treated closer to home, with a greater range of telehealth services and the capacity to perform treatments like dialysis in-home.

The three courses to be delivered under this project address the in-demand skills required to respond to the fast-moving pace of technology in healthcare and to ensure Australia’s hospitals and its health workforce can continue to deliver high quality care in new and improved ways.

Trials in digitally-enabled healthcare have found significant scope for digital health practices to both improve patient outcomes and lessen loads on service providers. A CSIRO trial of telehealth monitoring for patients with chronic conditions showed a 53 percent reduction in the number of hospital admissions and a 40 percent reduction in mortality, with the Australian Digital Health Agency identifying the need to embed digital practices in healthcare workforce training as crucial.

Healthcare leaders from across Australia will embrace the opportunity to increase their capacity to shape the future of healthcare delivery.

Each course will be a blend of learning and coaching by industry mentors, delivered online and take just six weeks to complete – allowing participants to make an immediate impact in their own workplace and more broadly.

Other partners involved in the development of the courses are Queensland Health, Australia’s largest ehealth company Telstra Health, youth cancer organisation Canteen and RMIT’s Health Transformation Lab.

RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness said the courses represent a vital step forward in the delivery of healthcare training that will enhance patient care and unlock transformative capabilities in the growing sector.

“The healthcare sector employs more than one in 10 working Australians and is going to continue to grow, with another quarter of a million jobs being created between now and 2024.

“Currently skills gaps in key areas like digital health, change management and remote patient care are holding us back. These skills are critical to enable innovation and transformation in the healthcare sector, so we need to address all three at once.

“We have designed our courses with the understanding that people, not technology, are at the core of effective healthcare and that new technologies can improve outcomes and equity in access to care.”

Digital Health CRC will be the first CRC to combine forces with one of Australia’s leading technical universities to create industry-relevant micro-credentials.

“The pace of technological change is unrelenting, which means we need learning formats that enable healthcare professionals to adopt and adapt quickly,” Digital Health Education Manager, Dr Melanie Haines explained. “Micro-credentials are the perfect answer and we are pleased to not only be partnering with RMIT Online in the delivery of these courses, but to be sponsoring 70 places.

“These courses will equip Australia’s healthcare professionals and organisations with the capability to integrate technologies such as apps, wearables, internet-enabled devices, virtual/augmented reality, AI and data analytics to improve delivery of patient care.

“We hope following the success of this trial, we can expand opportunities for healthcare professionals to obtain digital health micro-credentials in the future.”

Queensland Health Acting Deputy Director-General and Chief Clinical Information Officer Professor Keith McNeil said it is imperative for industry to work with education to quickly upskill health workers in critical innovations happening across the sector.

“In this environment, harnessing the capability for innovation to enhance patient care, transform health delivery and preserve healthcare capacity while creating better health and wellbeing outcomes is essential. Queensland Health is pleased to partner with RMIT Online and DHCRC to be supporting the healthcare workforce of today and into the future.”

The courses will be fully credentialed by RMIT University. Find out more about RMIT Online at online.rmit.edu.au

Source: RMIT Online

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