Future-oriented training in healthcare asks for technological innovation

Healthcare and technology increasingly go hand in hand, which is necessary in an ageing society that is developing rapidly and facing staff shortages. Students from the ROC van Twente continuously innovate and look for technical applications in healthcare. In fact, this is part of all their healthcare courses.  

In recent years, healthcare courses have gained the necessary experience in linking healthcare to technology. “For instance, we asked students what technology they encounter in healthcare and what technologies are still needed. There were quite a few great ideas straight away, one of these being a pill cutter. A group of students then created this device as a result”, says Anne-Ruth Oosterbroek. She is a teacher-researcher in the Healthcare and Technology multidisciplinary team in the ROC’s MBO Human & Health department.  

These ideas promise more, according to Oosterbroek and her colleagues. As part of the multidisciplinary team, she talked to teachers and clients from the field. This resulted in the ‘Can you make it’ subproject, in which students from the Technology and Human & Health departments work together on solutions to an end user’s request for help. One of these requests for help came from a wheelchair user looking for a tablet holder to make his hobby as an aircraft spotter easier. A data system was also set up in response to other requests, and they collaborated on an app for addiction charity Tactus. “Working on real assignments, which have an immediate effect, encourages the students to work hard. That’s great to see.”

ROC Healthcare Innovation Award

Great strides have been made within the ROC in the field of healthcare technology in recent years. The Healthcare innovation award was added this year. “A student of ours developed a bicycle labyrinth a few years ago and linked it to the exercise bike at work. Many elderly people used this. I thought this was so innovative that I signed her up for the Healthcare Innovation Award of the nurses and carers association. She made it to third place. A colleague later said, “We should have a prize like that here”, and so it happened”, says Oosterbroek enthusiastically. Students are challenged to come up with something that would improve the quality of healthcare. It is now down to two ideas. These two ideas are competing for a prize, which consists of a sum of money to further develop the idea. The contenders will be announced in September, after which everyone can vote for their favourite idea. A professional jury will help determine the winner. “We hope this will help many people see the value of technology in healthcare. And that it will inspire people to also think about the possibilities of innovation in healthcare. Let’s all have an open mind and keep looking for new possibilities to improve healthcare.

Different aspects of healthcare

“Many students starting our healthcare courses think that they will be dealing with the classic warm aspects of healthcare: helping people with everyday actions. But there is so much more than that”, says Oosterbroek. She researches the application of technology in healthcare, welfare and education and then implements the results of this research into education. She also teaches vocational classes and supervises an optional module in the field of healthcare and technology with her colleagues twice a year for ten weeks. Students work on various current care and technology issues in this optional module. They do this both at school and with clients from the industry. 

Healthcare innovations and self-reliance

Although we frequently come into contact with technology in our daily lives, such as a hoover or a washing machine, Oosterbroek says people still do not give it enough thought. “Our students often work in elderly care, and there, too, they increasingly use healthcare innovations such as digital care of help from robots. People who receive care want to be self-reliant and like to stay in control over their care needs. It is a good thing that students already learn about this at school so that they can properly support patients in their needs in practice.”

Date: 10 August 2023 |

Source of tekst: ROC van Twente |

Author: Marloes Neeskens

Contact information

ROC van Twente
Gieterij 200
7553 VZ Hengelo
+31 (0)74 852 50 00 info@rocvantwente.nl www.twente.com/organisaties/roc-van-twente

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