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Digital training will help healthcare professionals around the globe

Patients filming their own healthcare experiences will help students at universities across the world discover new ways of delivering better health services – thanks to new digital learning tools being developed at the University of Birmingham.

Developed with service users in the UK, Australia, South Africa and Mexico, the Global Health Challenges Digital Module will provide students with video case studies documenting how socio-political differences between countries affect healthcare delivery.

Footage filmed by patients themselves will allow students to explore individual experiences of rehabilitation and long-term healthcare settings. After discovering similarities and differences between countries, the students will work together using video conferencing to co-design the ideal system to support a patient’s health and social care needs.

The project is supported by a $20,000 award from the Universitas 21 (U21) Global Education Enhancement Fund and will involve healthcare students at the University of Birmingham as well as its U21 partners University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, Tecnológico de Monterrey and University of Johannesburg.

Ben Ellis, Lecturer in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Dr. Christine Hirsch, from the University’s Medical and Dental School led the U21 funding application and will work with healthcare academics at partner universities to develop the project.

Ben Ellis commented: “This project will help to produce healthcare graduates equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve the health and wellbeing of their local community and influence change in global health.

“It’s really important that universities create learners with an awareness of the sociocultural structures that affect the healthcare experience of individuals and communities. We can improve their learning through collaborative experiences across the U21 network. 

“Digital technology makes it easier for students to approach shared problems from different perspectives - encouraging them to engage with the UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda and explore new ways of delivering healthcare.”

The project was one of eight to receive funding from 52 applications to the fund, aimed at delivering better and robust solutions for online teaching, learning and assessment. The funding will cover filming of rehabilitation and long-term patient journeys and perspectives, including enabling patients to film their own experiences.  

  • For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165. 
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions and is a member of the UK’s Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham: leading researchers and teachers and more than 8,500 international students from over 150 countries.