Personalised Medicine

Personalised Healthcare

CPD - short course
Digital health

What is an RCSI Online short course?

RCSI understands that healthcare professionals need to continuously grow and learn, enhancing their skills and expertise to meet the needs of an ever-evolving and complex healthcare environment and the changing demands of their roles. We know that sometimes a short and focused course in a specific subject area is all you need to meet your professional development needs at a point in time.

Our new and exciting CPD short courses will allow you to access transformative education, with topics and content delivered by subject-matter experts with industry experience and expertise. You will have access to leading-edge, highly relevant content delivered in a stimulating online learning environment, with exciting weekly course themes and formative knowledge checks. Each week, you will engage in a 1.5 -hour live webinar session, accompanied by self-paced online activities to earn an RCSI Certificate on completion.

Why Personalised Healthcare?

The future of health is personalised.

As science reveals more about the 'omics' in human biology – mainly genomics but also proteomics, epigenomics, microbiomics, and more – it also uncovers how this differs from one individual to the next, allowing medicine to be tailor-made for individuals. Such developments mean not only that we can treat a patient’s specific illness, but also use data to better predict how a person will respond to treatment and, ultimately, focus on health interventions that may prevent a person from becoming sick in the first place.

As a participant on this new short online course from RCSI – which counts towards continuous professional development credits – you will develop an understanding of this field, and also consider how personalised health could potentially deepen social inequalities if access is not equal. You will also consider how personalised health raises data privacy concerns.

Register your interest

Follow in the path of former students who have embraced 230 years of teaching excellence. Driven by the promise of 'leading the world to better health', RSCI has been at the forefront of international healthcare education since our establishment in 1784, and we have a worldwide reputation for delivering excellent Undergraduate and Postgraduate health professions education.

RCSI's singular healthcare focus is evident through all our Postgraduate programmes, offering innovative, insight-rich and immersive development opportunities for both current and future leaders in healthcare.

Participants on this five-week course will:

  • Understand the relevance of personalised health in the healthcare ecosystems.
  • Learn about the impact of personalised health on healthcare quality, safety and efficacy.
  • Reflect on the potential of personalised health interventions to optimise clinical workflows.
  • Learn about the evolutionary direction of personalised health within a value-based health system.
  • Week one: In the introductory week, you will learn about the personalised health landscape, particularly as it relates to the omic sciences and other types of data. You will discuss how personalised health can have a positive impact on public health medicine: for instance, understanding how different individuals and cohorts respond to COVID-19 can allow health professionals to apply different, more targeted measures at different population groups. 
  • Week two:You will consider the impacts and benefits of personalised health, how these may be realised in existing systems, and why it is important. You will also explore how personalised medicine changes the paradigm in relation to prevention: if we can use genomics to predict disease, can we also avoid these diseases – and could this change how we invest in and fund healthcare? Personalised medicine may also change the nature of the existing relationships between clinician and patient, raising a host of considerations and ethical dilemmas that you will explore: Are patients likely to agree to an intervention to prevent a disease that they don’t have? In an era of social media, where distrust of clinicians is growing, will patients be willing to consider gene editing?
  • Week three: The human genome, translated to computer data, is approximately three gigabytes in size. When this is widened out to a local, national or global population, the amount of data involved in personalised health is enormous. In this week, you will discuss the nature, volume and analysis of data captured through this field of science, and how it relates to data captured through digital health technologies such as implants, sensors, wearables and mobile devices.
  • Week four: What is the future of personalised health? You will look at several examples, with a particular focus on how digital twins – a virtual replica of a person or, sometimes, of a cohort of people– is allowing for modelling that can better predict surgical outcomes. In this week, you will consider the future of pharmaceuticals and personalised primary healthcare, with a focus on how we can ensure that these developments are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring that everyone benefits from this technology and that it is not exclusively used to benefit the wealthiest and most privileged. If personalised healthcare provides a larger amount of information about patients, what does this mean for proactive approaches to healthcare management, and will it involve systemic reorganisation?
  • Week five: You will engage in a reflective exercise.  

This five-week course is fully online, so that you can study at a pace that suits your lifestyle. You will not be required to attend live sessions, ensuring flexibility for your schedule. The course consists of five weeks of content, including four weeks of teaching and a final week for completing a personal learning plan. Learning content is delivered primarily through pre-recorded video lectures and online activities.

Each week, there will be a recorded 90-minute webinar available, focusing on key topics. These webinars are accessible at any time for your convenience.

We understand that online learning might be a new experience for some. Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is intuitive, accessible, and easy to navigate. A dedicated programme coordinator will be available to assist with any technical difficulties or questions about learning online.

At the start of the course, we provide short orientation videos to familiarise you with the platform and course format.

This course is suitable for any healthcare professionals, whether working as clinicians or in a managerial stream, who wish to learn about how personalised health is influencing medicine, what developments are likely in the coming years, and how they can implement them in their workplace and professional practice. It may also be of interest to IT professionals working in healthcare, who need to better understand the nature of personalised health data. 

David Rowlands

David Rowlands is a management consultant specialising in health and health informatics and has recently launched the Digital Health Workforce Academy – a provider of online training courses in health informatics – in collaboration with HISA. David has a broad background in the health sector and has worked for public sector health agencies in two states as well as the Commonwealth Department and has held Directorships in a variety of not-for-profit health and related agencies. David’s executive roles have included managing health services; health service planning and performance management; information management and management of corporate services and has also led national strategic initiatives in Australia and Asia.

David is a former HISA Chair and remains committed to developing Australia’s health informatics capabilities. He is the author of A Practitioner’s Guide to Health Informatics in Australia, available through the HISA Shop.

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive a RCSI Completion Certificate. Achieving this Certificate and earning continuous professional development (CPD) points involves passing weekly MCQs, engaging in online discussions, and participating in reflective exercises, including the completion of a personal action plan. These components are designed to be flexible, allowing you to progress at your own pace while ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.

Although this course does not carry credits as per the European Credit Transfer System, it upholds rigorous quality assurance standards to provide an excellent educational experience. The course has been approved by the RCSI Professional Development and Practice Committee and is accredited for CPD points in line with the Irish Medical Council guidelines. Participants seeking recognition in other jurisdictions should verify the applicability of these CPD points as per their local requirements.

Note: RCSI accepts no obligation to refund any fee, or part thereof, in respect of a participant who chooses to withdraw from or does not complete a course.

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