New course recognises changing healthcare landscape

16 April, 2015

As healthcare increasingly depends on the innovative use of modern technologies the University of Sydney has announced a first of its kind master's degree aimed at developing leaders in the emerging field of health technology.

The Master of Health Technology Innovation (MHTI) degree will see three professional groups work side-by-side- engineers, IT specialists and health professionals and provide a unique learning environment aimed at cultivating their complementary skills.

The course designed in conjunction with industry representatives will include cross-disciplinary projects undertaken at the Charles Perkins Centre - the university's recently established research and education hub.

Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre says: "The MHTI is the first new course to emerge from the Charles Perkins Centre project, and exemplifies our mission to bring disciplines together in innovative ways to deliver teaching and research that transforms health."

The new professional degree will benefit doctors, scientists, information technology experts and engineers with a bias toward biomedical innovation equipping them with the skills to apply technologies in innovative ways within the health domain.

Professor David Lowe, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology says academics in engineering and IT have been working in medicine and health sciences for many years and these days it's normal to have a combination of specialists working on large projects. The degree will bring health professionals and technologists together providing benefit to both fields.

"We recognised an overlapping need in biomedical innovation and through this course we are aiming to create leaders in an emerging field, where medical expertise, engineering innovation and biotech innovation work hand in glove," states Professor Lowe.

"Imaging techniques and Information technologies have been a driving force behind modern biomedical research and the delivery of high quality, personalised medicine," says Professor Lowe.

"But there is an enormous opportunity in health technology beyond imaging and tele-health.

"The health sector is full of potential for solving problems. We are aiming to produce graduates, both engineering and medical skilled in the use of new or emerging health technologies," Professor Lowe states.

Paul Cohen, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs expert responsible for enabling Australian start-up innovation success, including with "Optimized Ortho" assisted in the development of the new course:

"The MHTI program is unique in that it will deliver in a single course invaluable insights and a framework for successfully navigating a complex and evolving environment.

"It will be a valuable asset to those seeking to expand their opportunities as a health technology specialist or develop a career path in the health profession supported by technological expertise," says Cohen.

"This is the missing link for clinicians with great ideas working within complex systems. The program will provide graduates with a unique, cross-disciplinary skill set allowing them to bridge the gap between the technical and clinical arenas."

The MHTI will commence in July this year.