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Educating the Next Generation about Digital Health Solutions

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Jessica Visentin and Katherine Steckham

This year, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) welcomed students to join the ever-evolving conversation about leveraging technology to satisfy the increasing demands of the current health care landscape. The inaugural 2016 Student Interprofessional eHealth Award recognizes that students are not only users, but also innovators, of digital health solutions.

As co-directors of the Interprofessional Seniors Outreach Program, we focused on enhancing interprofessional education at the University of Toronto by using a geriatric case study to guide an online discussion. Connecting students from a wide variety of health backgrounds online enabled thoughtful conversations and shed light on diverse perspectives. The use of an online platform optimized information sharing, open discussion, and problem-solving skills through interprofessional collaboration.

As recipients of the award, we were provided with the opportunity to partake in the 2016 Infoway Peer Leader Symposium.

We initially wondered how we could engage in this conversation without significant clinical experience. However, the symposium impressed upon us the value that students can provide. We were able to connect with and learn from peer leaders across the country, gaining exposure to initiatives that are underway to bridge gaps in clinical practice related to information sharing. As future clinicians it is important for students to be informed about the advances in digital health, appreciate how they can be used to optimize care, and identify the challenges of such incorporation.

Digital health solutions are the way of the future, and as such, early exposure may play a critical role in cultivating the next generation.

How can students join the conversation? What role should students play?

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jvisentinksteckhamJessica Visentin and Katherine Steckham

Jessica Visentin, a third-year pharmacy student, and Katherine Steckham, a second-year medical student, study at the University of Toronto and contribute to interprofessional education as co-directors of the Interprofessional Seniors Outreach Program.

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