The recent pace of innovation in healthcare is unprecedented. Rapid advances in many fields promise to disrupt current surgical care.
The recent “Future of Surgery” report, from the Royal College of Surgeons, considered the changes that are occurring and how they will impact on patients, surgeons and the health service over the next 20 years. The Commission identified four areas that will have the greatest impact:
- Minimally-invasive surgery
- Imaging, virtual reality and augmented reality
- Big data, genomics and artificial intelligence
- Specialised interventions (e.g. 3D bioprinting, nano-surgery, artificial organs)
The Healthcare Innovation and Technology course provides insight into these different areas of innovation and explores both the challenges and opportunities they provide. Students will develop an understanding of the innovation pathway and develop translatable skills in idea generation, needs analysis, evaluation of innovation, developing a business case and pitching it. Students will also explore the challenges to adapting to new innovations in their day-to-day practice.
The course is offered by the Nuffield Department of Surgical Science and Department for Continuing Education, the taught week is led by Mr Matthew Gardiner.
The modest class size allows most sessions to be interactive. The week includes a hospital visit and exposure to surgical robots and virtual reality simulation. During the week teams put together a case for an innovation and pitch the idea in the ‘Vipers’ Nest’. The groups will also explore aspects of coping with innovation and introducing innovations to the healthcare environment.
Tutors are available for mentoring and some offer topics for the main dissertation. The course is supported by a virtual learning environment with course material made available in advance.
The Healthcare Innovation and Technology course has a large faculty drawing on expertise from across academia, healthcare and business.