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How do we teach eHealth to budding health professionals? The eHealthMap project

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 2:30pm – 3:00pm parallel session



Room 9 – 3030-G23 MLT1



Dr Melanie Keep
The University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Anna Janssen
The University of Sydney, Australia

Deborah McGregor
The University of Sydney, Australia

Melissa Brunner
University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Deleana Quinn
The University of Sydney, Australia

Professor Tim Shaw
The University of Sydney, Australia



As digital technology use by the public and in health services increases, so too does the call for higher education institutions to suitably prepare graduates of health and medical professional degree programs with the capabilities required to practice in eHealth contexts. To do this, eHealth teachings need to be integrated into curriculum. Our study explored how eHealth is taught, and the challenges and opportunities for integrating eHealth into allied health, nursing and medical university curricula.



A total of 77 unit outlines from physiotherapy, nursing, dentistry, and medicine were reviewed for eHealth-related content. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 24 unit coordinators, audio recorded, transcribed, and de-identified. Learning activities from unit outlines, interviews, and focus groups were coded as formal (learning outcomes and formally assessed), semi-formal (in unit outline but not formally assessed), or informal (taught but not part of any formal unit documentation). Content analysis was used to identify themes around challenges and opportunities for embedding eHealth teaching.



Informal teaching of eHealth was most commonly reported, usually limited to a lecture or tutorial activity. Study outlines contained few formal or semi-formal references to eHealth content. There was no evidence of a standardised approach to eHealth teaching across any of the health degrees explored. Despite identifying numerous challenges to embedding eHealth in their subjects, unit coordinators expressed enthusiasm for eHealth teaching and were keen to provide a range of suggestions to address content and learning activities.



Currently, eHealth teaching at our institution is mostly informal. However, there is interest in formalising this through case-based learning methods and assessment. Study outcomes included recommendation to support unit coordinators with relevant information, teaching resources, and curriculum mapping that clearly articulates eHealth capabilities for students across their degree.



Kennedy, G., Judd, T.S., Churchward, A., Gray, K., & Krause, K. (2008). First year students’ experiences with technology: are they really digital natives? Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(1) 108-122.
Lam, M., Hines, M., Lowe (nee Thompson), R., Nagarajan, S., Keep, M., Penman, M., & Power, E. (2016). Preparedness for eHealth: Health Sciences Students’ knowledge, skills and confidence. Journal of Information Technology Education, 15(2016), 305-334.


Presentation topic

Students – Future Graduates

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