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Digital Health Academy adds new CPD-accredited module to strengthen health innovators and patients engagement

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The new ‘How to Involve and Engage Patients on Digital Health Tech Innovation’ learning module has been created specifically to support the development and delivery of patient-centric technologies, at a time of critical digital transformation in the NHS.

The foundation level module will be freely available at www.orcha-digitalhealthacademy.com and on the Health Education England NHS Learning Hub (learninghub.nhs.uk).

No training previously exists on conducting effective patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE), leading to wasted resource on unsuitable technologies at a time when the healthcare system simply cannot afford it. The module aims to educate innovators who are creating new technology, and the clinicians who are prescribing these solutions. Crucially, the module also provides valuable support to the 500 NHS clinicians who are on the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.

The module is an introduction to the first evidence-based framework for PPIE, launched by the University of Plymouth, the AHSN Network (the national voice of the 15 academic health science networks in England) and Boehringer Ingelheim UK & Ireland. It helps to fast-track learning for the EnACT principles described in the framework, outlining how to involve patients in product innovation and critical issues such as data privacy, intellectual property, inclusivity, reimbursement, useability, and recruitment of patients.

Dr Tom Micklewright, General Practitioner and Clinical Director of Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) spoke about the critical need for the new module, “Digital health tools have the potential to transform how frontline workers deliver healthcare, but this will only work if patients use the tools. I’ve seen first-hand how some health apps have lost the confidence of patients because they were never really designed with usability in mind. I hope having this module on the Academy will help clinical entrepreneurs at a practical level and will also help my colleagues on the frontline understand more about health app development.”

Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO of ORCHA said, “We’re very pleased to be adding this excellent module onto our Academy platform. The Academy exists to help frontline health and care workers build their digital confidence and skills, and part of this learning is an understanding of how these digital tools have been developed by clinical entrepreneurs in the first place. This highly instructive video module, which is based on an award-winning training manual, will do just that. ORCHA will also be making this module available to the digital health developer community, through a new portal.”

Naj Rotheram, Medical Lead for Partnerships at Boehringer Ingelheim UK and Ireland commented, “The most effective patient resources are co-designed, so we are extremely proud to have been involved in the development of this latest module. The work conducted on the PPIE initiative reinforces Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to delivering patient-centric digital transformation, helping to create a more sustainable healthcare system.”

The Digital Health Academy was launched in 2022 in response to the lack of mandatory digital health training for health and care professionals. Since its launch, the ORCHA Digital Health Academy has been consistently amongst the most-accessed courses on the Health Education England Learning Hub.

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