30 August 2011

How to teach eHealth

The report on “How to teach eHealth” intends to support the implementation process of adequate eHealth courses for the project target groups. Based on a literature review, this report includes learning approaches and trends. Furthermore, the report presents learning styles, preferences and teaching tools for our common target group “Adult learner”.

The nature of learning differs between a traditional child learner and the “non-traditional” adult learner. Adult learners often need flexible (e.g. flexibility in access to courses, flexibility in delivery to accommodate different learning styles) and self-directed courses. The e-learning method (especially learning platforms) is particularly suitable for the realisation of constructivist approaches and the particular learning style of adult learners. Thus, the online method is “lauded by many as being an ideal instrument for the delivery of education to adults”. Nevertheless, e-learning requires more self-discipline and maturity from the learners than traditional classroom education, which may explain the higher dropout rates in e-learning programmes compared to conventional programmes. Inadequately equipped e-learning systems can result in frustration (e.g. only text-based learning material without images). Learning platforms are especially appropriate for e-learning, because they offer a high variety of methods, for example synchronous and asynchronous communication tools (chat, email, whiteboard forum, etc).

The blended learning concept tries to combine the advantages of the traditional classroom learning and e-learning and to compensate the disadvantages. According to this concept e-learning approaches are especially effective if they are involved in the method of learning arrangements which include computer-based elements in addition to classical forms of learning (for example, workshops and teamwork). A meaningful link between class lectures and technology-based methods is crucial for the success of the blended learning method.

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27 July 2011

Impact of demographic change on the need for eHealth

This report describes the demographical and epidemiological developments in the partner regions and possible effects on the level of supply and quality of health care services. It is part of the strategy to improve the social capacity of citizens and medical professionals to utilise eHealth technologies.

As the life expectancy increases, the birth number decreases and the generation of the baby-boomers grows older, the demography in the Baltic Sea Region changes. The age distribution shifts to the older ages and the population shrinks. The future burden of disease and the expected need of health care supply depends on the demography. Chronic diseases like stroke, diabetes mellitus or cancer are more prominent in the older age groups.

Many medical professionals, politicians and patients are already concerned about an undersupply in health care. If the ratio of people in need of health care and the people in the working age is growing, a further decline in the quality of services is impending. With the decrease of human resources, efficient technology-based ways to counteract a lowering of quality of services are needed. Information and communication technology have the potential to fill this gap by enabling patients to take more responsibility for their own health and by making the treatment of patients more efficient.

Based on the demographic development and the actual age- and sex-specific burden of disease rates the report includes projections on the future mortality, incidence, prevalence and need of health care supply (in terms of hospital discharges) for several chronic diseases.

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05 July 2011

Video of project meeting in Finland

The media project TrissaTv, working under Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, made a video clip about the latest ICT for Health project meeting. From June 28 to 30, 2011 about 45 project members discussed how to strengthen the acceptance of eHealth. The video is available in Finnish with English subtitles. Please click on the picture to see the video on YouTube.2011-07-05_ict-project-meeting_video2

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 June 2011

Baseline study of eHealth in education published

The recently published report on the “Baseline study of eHealth in education in the Baltic Sea Area” is documenting a study of eHealth in formal education carried out by the ICT for Health project. The study focuses on the education of health care professionals.

The study includes five countries (Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Norway and Denmark), and the aim is to obtain knowledge on the extent, level, and content of existing eHealth education in order to identify future educational need within the area of eHealth in education. The study revealed that in the participating countries a wide range of programmes and courses exist, that include eHealth elements more or less extensively. It also became clear from the baseline study that apart from Lithuania all countries had programmes in pure eHealth. But especially in the education of health care professionals (physicians, nurses etc.) it was found that the integration of eHealth elements often is marginal or non-existent. This problem of lack of integration of eHealth in the education of traditional health care professionals is according to our literature review not specific for the participating countries, but seems to be a general problem in many countries. The baseline study will, together with the literature review and the recommendation formulated by the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), function as an informed starting point for the development of eHealth courses and content for health care professionals. Furthermore the report in itself might give valuable information to educational decisions makers in the involved countries.

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