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The Michener Institute of Education at UHN is creating new programs in artificial intelligence (AI) to meet the health system's need for digitally-literate health professionals.
The new Digital Health and Data Analytics Program will consist of a new full-time program in the School of Applied Health Sciences; new curriculum in these emerging areas in the School of Applied Health Sciences' current programs; and an expansion of professional development programming in and beyond the Artificial Intelligence Health Care Certificate Program curriculum in Michener's School of Continuing Education.
"If we look at what's happening in healthcare currently, digital health, technology and artificial intelligence are already changing clinical practice and healthcare delivery," says Harvey Weingarten, Principal of Michener's School of Applied Health Sciences. "We know there's a need for those working in the field to understand and integrate this technology into their work."
Significant investments and advances in healthcare technologies and practices have created a need for digital- and data-literate healthcare professionals. AI algorithms are transforming how medical conditions are being analyzed, diagnosed and treated. Complex and massive data sets are informing significant healthcare decisions and clinical practices.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is also shining a light on issues that were already emerging in regard to the use of technology for effective and private virtual care," says Harvey.
As Canada's only "school within a hospital" dedicated exclusively to healthcare education, Michener is uniquely positioned to prepare healthcare professionals in these emerging fields. Michener's new programs will support healthcare professionals at every point in their career pathway using virtual learning, workplace learning, data simulation and modelling, micro-credentialing and collaboration with other institutions.
To develop content for the new programs, Michener is assembling two advisory groups and an international advisory board, which includes not just healthcare practitioners but also employers. These groups will determine learning outcomes and the necessary skill sets, competencies and capabilities healthcare practitioners will need to be successful in 2030 and beyond.
There will also be a faculty liaison committee that will help develop the curriculum and integrate this new learning into Michener's already existing programs.
"Canada is poised to lead the world in artificial intelligence, data science, robotics and beyond – we're already seeing exciting advancements in patient care at UHN thanks to the latest technologies and innovations," says Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO of UHN.
"Michener's cutting-edge programs are critical for ensuring that providers acquire the knowledge and skills they need for delivering tomorrow's care."
New programming in the Digital Health and Data Analytics programs will begin in September 2021.