The Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) reveals that while 65% of the public are open to testing digital health technologies, fewer than 10% are recommended by health and care professionals.
One-third of the recommendations for those using digital health came from healthcare professionals, with 17% coming from GPs, 8% from hospital doctors, and 2% from nurses. NHSX’s Readiness Plan emphasizes the need to develop front-line skills for digital health by investing in professional development.
It is still not mandatory for health and care professionals to receive digital health training, and the courses that they can attend are often scarce. In response to this need, ORCHA, in collaboration with universities and healthcare professionals, developed the Digital Health Academy, whose foundation level modules are available free of charge through orcha-academy.com and on the Health Education England NHS Learning Hub. Training modules from the academy were created specifically for frontline health care workers who would like to use and recommend digital health tools but have struggled to gain access to the know-how.
Modules from the Digital Health Academy include:
- Easily accessible, bite-sized learning modules that are suitable for busy schedules.
- In two modules, you will learn how to use and prescribe good quality health apps along with the current digital health landscape.
- In the near future, we will be offering specialty modules on mental health, diabetes, physiotherapy, long-term care, and winter pressures.
- The Learning Hub is built on the foundation content of the ORCHA Digital Health Academy, which has been contributed to Health Education England by the head of Technology Enhanced Learning.
- The Learning Hub will host additional content in the future, supporting health and care professionals in their roles.
Boehringer Ingelheim decided to sponsor the foundation modules once they learned about the Academy’s value to frontline staff. As a result, health and care professionals can access it free of charge.
Boehringer Ingelheim UK & Ireland’s managing director, Uday Bose, said: “There is widespread recognition that frontline workers need digital health training, with groups including the King’s Fund and the Royal College of General Practitioners calling for it.”
S Fund and the Royal College of General Practitioners calling for it.” “With six million people now waiting for elective care and a host of digital tools available to assist healthcare workers with many of the high volume and low complexity cases, it’s critical for the NHS to improve its digital skills and confidence.” We saw the academy as an ideal way of addressing this very real need amongst frontline staff.”
The ORCHA team has designed and built the online training portal, based on its experience reviewing more than 17,000 health apps and operating health app libraries in 70% of NHS regions. By 2031, there will be 630,000 healthcare professionals with the opportunity to improve their skills. By year one of the project, up to 50,000 healthcare staff will be trained.