NTU Singapore’s centre designated as World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre to promote digital health and education
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is poised to shape the future of digital health and education on a global scale in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The University’s Centre for Population Health Sciences (CePHaS), hosted by Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) has been designated as WHO’s first Collaborating Centre for digital health and education.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, who was in Singapore recently, met with Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) to congratulate the University on the designation of CePHaS as a WHO Collaborating Centre.
Led by LKCMedicine Associate Professor Josip Car, director of NTU's CePHaS, the Centre will work with the WHO to look into how digital health and health education tools and mobile solutions can be used to boost the learning capacity and core competencies of health workers worldwide.
Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic), said, “For CePHaS to be named an official WHO Collaborating Centre is a testament to the expertise of our professors at NTU's LKCMedicine, and the trusted relationship we have built with the WHO in the last few years. NTU is very proud of the impactful research and innovation spearheaded by our professors and scholars in medical education, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence and 3D-printing. These disruptive technologies are transforming conventional health care as we know it today, with telemedicine, wearable medical devices and other innovations. NTU welcomes this opportunity to work with the WHO to ensure that the world's health care workforce is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, “We congratulate Nanyang Technological University on the designation of its Centre for Population Health Sciences as WHO’s first Collaborating Centre for Digital Health and Health Education. We are very excited to work with an institution with such a distinctive track record and expertise in this field, and look forward to collaborating with NTU to address the global need for education and digitalisation in the health care sectors.”
Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health Singapore, said, “Singapore has always been supportive of the WHO’s efforts in improving the health of populations around the world. As a Collaborating Centre, CePHaS would be well-positioned to bring like-minded partners and stakeholders together, and ensure that expertise and experiences in using technology for education and training of health workers are better shared with the rest of the world.”
Prof Ling said, “NTU has been at the forefront of implementing innovative learning and technology-enhanced pedagogies in our medical education and other disciplines. One of the goals of digital learning is obviously to achieve better skilled students who will ultimately become better health workers. With this initiative, we have an exciting opportunity to chart new territory in health and medical training worldwide, and we see far-reaching benefits in patient care, professional development and other areas. This is also in line with our commitment to lifelong learning and skills development.”
Unlike conventional learning, digital health education offers several advantages, such as the potential to address the increased demand for education and training through scalability, as well as personalised learning, convenience and flexibility for learners. The Centre will also look into how digital health education can improve knowledge, skills, attitudes and satisfaction as compared to conventional learning.
More than 60 percent of the world population – about 5 billion people – will get access to mobile internet by 2025, according to the GSM Association, the global trade body representing mobile operators. Dean of LKCMedicine, Professor James Best said, “We are honoured that CePHaS in our medical school has been designated one of 800 WHO collaborating centres from around the world. We look forward to working with the WHO in enhancing access to health care and information through mobile technology.”
The designation of NTU’s Centre for Population Health Sciences as a WHO Collaborating Centre runs for four years. There are more than 800 WHO collaborating centres in over 80 countries worldwide working in diverse areas, such as biomedical ethics, nursing, occupational health, chronic diseases, and health technologies.