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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Health Information

Postgraduate Course: Digital strategies for service transformation in rural areas (HEIN11073)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course introduces the fundamental elements of design and service delivery for digital technologies in rural/remote settings using practice-based scenarios. It will include critical evaluation of case studies relevant to digital innovation in last
mile/remote settings. Providing students with the knowledge and skills required for implementing, scaling and evaluating digital solutions for health and care delivery in rural/remote areas.
Course description Academic description
Successful implementation and scale of digital innovations aimed at health and social care in rural and remote settings depends on successful navigation of: infrastructure, design, local capacity for digital innovation, financing, local regulatory and management environments and sustainability. This course highlights the importance of effective design, planning and implementation of digital innovations for health and social care that are targeted to serve rural and remote populations.

Outline Content
This course introduces the context of rural, remote and last mile settings. It explores successful and best practice in digital design that has worked successfully in rural/remote areas, drawing on examples from the health, social and care services sector. In later weeks, the course will focus on case studies in digital innovation from both high income and low income rural settings. Students will use these case studies to learn how to make complex decisions based on local and community contexts and learn what is needed to manage and appraise design of digital innovation effectively in these settings.

Student Learning Experience
Students will learn from experts who work in implementing and scaling digital solutions in rural/remote areas. The course is delivered online and is divided into five sessions, each lasting a week. Teaching sessions will be composed of written materials
and video presentations, accompanied by guided reading in the form of links to journal articles.
Discussion of the content and reading materials will be posted to an online forum, along with students' answers to the problem-based learning questions. Course tutors will moderate discussion boards. Students will be graded on discussion board postings. Students will further evidence their learning by writing an implementation plan for a case study from the health and social care sector by the end of the course. Formative peer and teacher-led feedback will be given throughout the course through
the discussion boards, and summative assessment feedback will be provided at the end of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate and apply a critical understanding of design principles and the challenges in implementing and scaling digital health solutions for rural/remote populations and managing data-driven innovation.
  2. Apply problem-solving skills to present potential solutions to design challenges for digital health innovations for rural/remote settings.
  3. Critically reflect on the drivers and needs of rural, remote and last mile populations and how needs for those communities may differ from urban populations.
Reading List
Recommended readings:
Evans, J., Bhatt, S. and Sharma, R., 2018. The path to scale: Navigating design, policy, and infrastructure. mHealth Innovation in Asia, pp.31-48.
Almond, H., Cummings, E. and Turner, P., 2016. Avoiding Failure for Australia's Digital Health Record: The Findings from a Rural E-Health Participatory Research Project. In Digital Health Innovation for Consumers,
Clinicians, Connectivity and Community (pp. 8-13). IOS Press.
Papoutsi, C., Wherton, J., Shaw, S., Morrison, C. and Greenhalgh, T., 2021. Putting the social back into sociotechnical: Case studies of co-design in digital health. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 28(2),
Labrique, A.B., Wadhwani, C., Williams, K.A., Lamptey, P., Hesp, C., Luk, R. and Aerts, A., 2018. Best practices in scaling digital health in low and middle income countries. Globalization and health, 14(1), pp.1-8.
Bhatt, S., Evans, J. and Gupta, S., 2017. Barriers to scale of digital health systems for cancer care and control in last-mile settings. Journal of Global Oncology, 4, pp.1-3.
Ramsden, R., Pit, S., Colbran, R., Payne, K., Tan, A.J. and Edwards, M., 2022. Development of a framework to promote rural health workforce capability through digital solutions: A qualitative study of user perspectives.
Digital Health, 8, p.20552076221089082.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Mindsets:
Enquiry and lifelong learning
Students on this course will be encouraged to seek out ways to develop their expertise in evaluation and appreciation for design of digital solutions for rural populations. They will also be encouraged to strive for excellence in their professional practice and to use established and developed approaches
to resolve design/implementation issues as they arise in health and social care systems.

Aspiration and personal development
Students will be encouraged to draw on the quality, depth and breadth of their experiences to expand their potential and identify areas they wish to develop and grow. Students will also be encouraged to understand their
responsibility within and contribute positively, ethically and respectfully to digital design for remote and rural populations while acknowledging that different students and community members will have other priorities and

Outlook and engagement
Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning. Students will be asked to use their initiative and experience, often explicitly relating to their professional, educational, geographical or cultural context to engage
with and enhance the learning of students from the diverse communities on the programme. Students will also be asked to reflect on the experience of their peers and identify opportunities to enhance their learning.

2. Skills:
Research and enquiry
Students will use self-reflection to seek out learning opportunities. Students will also use the newly acquired knowledge and critical assessment to identify and creatively tackle problems and assimilate the findings of case studies and peer knowledge in their arguments, discussions and assessments.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
Students will be encouraged to use their personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate learning materials and exercises. Students will be supported through their active participation in self-directed learning, discussion boards and collaborative activities to critically evaluate concepts, evidence and experiences of peers and superiors from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.

Personal effectiveness
Students will need to be effective and proactive learners that can articulate what they have learned, and have an awareness of their strengths and limitations, and a commitment to learning and reflection to complete this
course successfully.

The structure of the interactive (problem-based learning examples, discussion boards and collaborative activities) and assessment elements incorporate constant reinforcement and development of these skills.
KeywordsDigital innovation,eHealth,mHealth,innovation at scale,rural healthcare,remote healthcare
Course organiserMr Jay Evans
Course secretaryMr Matthew Newlands
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