The project will include comprehensive mapping and analysis of current digital working practices to identify a pathway for nursing and allied health professionals to embrace data analytics, robotics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and support the wider digital transformation of services.
It comes as digital innovations have been introduced at speed throughout the NHS as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – including remote consultations, chatbots for triaging patients and virtual wards in patients’ homes supported by remote monitoring and AI analysis of patient data.
The project is funded by Health Education England (HEE) as part of its drive to ensure healthcare education and training accommodates digital advancements in the sector and supports the workforce as it adapts to new technology.
Dr. Neha Sehgal, senior lecturer in healthcare analytics, AI and data science at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “During the pandemic, it has become critical for the health and social care organisations to accelerate the adoption of digital tools and technology into the healthcare system to improve the patient journey and optimise staff scheduling.
“Going forward, this Sheffield Hallam-led project will play a crucial role in upscaling the industry-academia research collaboration and support the digital transformation agenda for health and social care organisations.”
As one of the largest providers of nursing, midwifery and allied health education in the UK, Sheffield Hallam is working closely with industry bodies to ensure the NHS becomes a world leader in digital health technologies.
The university has launched a ground-breaking digital health degree to help meet the growing demand for AI and data analysis experts in healthcare and improve progression for underrepresented groups into data science professions.
Students on the MSc Healthcare Analytics and Artificial Intelligence course will help to shape the future of healthcare, from vision to practice, using state-of-the-art technologies in data analytics and artificial intelligence.
The postgraduate conversion course is targeted at healthcare employees who are interested in upskilling into technical roles, individuals who have taken a career break and former healthcare staff looking to return to work, as well as clinicians in roles that are exposed to health data and dashboards.