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The European Master Care and Technology is a two-year program for professionals in health care provision and technology. It provides students with the theoretical ability and hands-on expertise to drive innovation in their place of work.
Diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation technologies are developing rapidly. This is due to great progress in materials research, mechatronics, ICT, and biological and biochemical sciences. At the same time, health care reports in western countries show that the sustainability of health care provision is under threat. Demographic factors and rising costs of health care services require a transition from a professional-driven to a user-oriented system. New technologies can facilitate such a system and may also support care delivery itself. They can reduce the physical strain on care workers and make their work more effective.
Health care organizations need to incorporate new technologies to transform their services. And professionals need to adapt to take full advantage of these solutions. Only then can the delivery of quality care be sustained. Poor usability of the currently available technology is a barrier to change. Developers often lack in-depth knowledge of care practices. This leaves them unable to incorporate the characteristics of care delivery in new technology. Ideally, designers and future users work together to define and develop new technological approaches. This places user-centered design and co-creation at the heart of the research and development process.
Thus, technology mediated health care innovation relies on experts who can bridge the gap between disciplines. They drive innovation in care provision through practical application of new technologies. They identify opportunities for change and improvement, bring together people from different professional backgrounds, and manage complicated implementation processes. If you are an ambitious professional motivated to implement technology in your workplace, you can become a key player in the transition in health care provision. The European Master Care and Technology will provide you with the knowledge and competences you need. As an Expert in Care and Technology, you will be in high demand.
This is a joint Master program of an international consortium consisting of the University of Beira Interior in Portugal, Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Finland, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.master-ct.eu. The international character of the master creates the opportunity for students to build an international network, explore other cultures and experience the effects of technology in care in the international context.
Throughout the program, students conduct research on a topic that is relevant and important to their own workplace. As a result, their Master’s thesis is a valuable document for their organization. It reflects the rich and varied learning environment from which the students benefit during the program. They develop close relationships with fellow students from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities. During the two years of e-learning, students spend seven one-week periods at the campuses of partner institutions participating in the program. This provides them with first-hand insight into the differences in the area of health and technology within Europe.
During the first year, students are introduced to the field of care and technology. They learn about methods for user-centered design and development. In addition, they gain insight in user-orientation, business and innovation. Focusing on a topic of their choice, students start working on a research and development plan. This is the groundwork for a Master’s thesis that is to be completed at the end of the program. All practical assignments are related to the student’s own workplace. This means students acquire highly relevant knowledge and skills.
During the second year, students focus on strategies and methods for implementation. These are demonstrated and used during group assignments on different subjects relevant to the student’s place of work. Students fine-tune their research and development proposal and execute their research and development plan. Next, they write their Master’s thesis. Students conclude the program with a thesis defence in front of a committee.
In order to be admitted to this program, the following admission requirements have to be met:
A student who has successfully completed the program, qualifies as an “Expert in Care and Technology” and obtains a Master of Sciense degree from the consortium of universities. This title reflects the wide range of skills acquired in order to contribute to all phases of the product innovation cycle. Graduates are competent professionals who are able to initiate and implement innovative approaches to health care delivery. They help their organizations move forward.
Gill is project manager Secure Technology at the intensive care unit of a large hospital*
“Hi, I am Gill and I am a nurse working at the intensive care unit. The patients in my department are surrounded by a lot of technology, and many patients’ lives depend on the technology. My colleagues and I are well trained to use the equipment. However, incidents occur and the technology is not always used correctly. The complexity of the technology bears risks and for that reason I am appointed as a project manager Secure Technology. It is my task to analyse the incidents that occur in order to improve the technology and reduce the risks. E.g. I recently conducted a research to discover why the alarms of cardiac care unit were missed several times in the last months. The outcome of my research will be used as an input for the requirements analysis for a new system. It will be my task to represent the users in the development project with the supplier of the equipment.”
“The Master Technology in Care provided me with a lot of knowledge about technology and skills to do research. Now, I not only understand what the technicians tell me, but I can also think like them in the development process. I am confident that together we will develop an excellent solution for our department.”
Frank is a technology developer in an international firm*
“I’ve always been interested in healthcare, but I never understood why so little technology was used. When you see all the new opportunities of technology in buildings, it is frustrating to see old people and their careers struggling to cope with simple daily activities like showering, shopping or even a simple thing like opening a door. So, I decided to focus on supporting technology for the elderly and the handicapped. I was lucky that my boss also saw the market potential for this kind of technology and gave me the opportunity to do the Master of Technology in Care. Now I know much more about healthcare and about people with special needs. I used the techniques I was taught to create a team of developers and we are designing a futuristic concept for an ‘adaptive home’ for people with special needs.”
* These are interviews with fictive individuals outlining some of your possible career paths