UK university launches degree in digital health
The UK's Sheffield Hallam University is launching a degree in digital health to help meet the growing demand for AI and data analysis experts in healthcare.
The prestigious university, renowned for its science and engineering programmes, decided to create the postgraduate degree following the widespread adoption of healthcare technology in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With this course the university hopes to improve progression for underrepresented groups, primarily women, into data science professions.
Students on the new MSc Healthcare Analytics and Artificial Intelligence course will have access to state-of-the-art technologies in data analytics and artificial intelligence. The degree is targeted at healthcare employees who are interested in upskilling into technical roles, individuals who have taken a career break, and former healthcare staff looking to return to work, as well as clinicians in roles that are exposed to health data and dashboards.
The course will prepare graduates for a career in healthcare solutions, including clinical informatics, project management, systems training and education, systems procurement management and information management. Students will learn how to:
- Manage the procurement, implementation and evaluation of digital healthcare technologies
- Apply and critically appraise AI and data analytics technologies for their suitability to the healthcare sector
- Evaluate the ethics surrounding data and artificial intelligence systems in a healthcare environment
- Use data frameworks in order to develop new predictive healthcare analytics
Dr Chris Low, Associate Dean in the College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences at the university, said: “This new course is just one of a range of innovative, digitally-driven courses at Hallam that are needed to develop the workforce skills that are becoming vital for effective healthcare services. As we have seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, diagnosis and treatment increasingly rely on using data to deliver the most efficient, compassionate care."
Sheffield Hallam is ranked as In the UK, it is one of the largest providers of nursing and midwifery education. A number of public health organisations will work closely with the university to deliver the course, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Health Education England, NHS Digital, and analytics and AI providers.
The degree has been created following calls from the UK Government for universities to develop AI and data science degree conversion courses to help address the shortage of specialists in this field in the UK. Developing the digital skills of the workforce is part of the UK Government's (NHS).
Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO) at NHSx, explains further: "As an experienced CNIO I know that when we bring our expert clinical knowledge together with expertise in informatics, AI, change management and digital technologies we can do great things. This course, and those like it, with their focus on bringing our clinical knowledge together with knowledge from the domains of informatics and technology has the potential to develop clinicians with the expertise to transform healthcare.
“In addition, I believe that the growing community of clinical digital leaders should be representative of the diversity of the workforce and the public we serve. I am thrilled that Sheffield Hallam University has recognised that and made scholarships available for underrepresented groups to ensure we can grow that diverse community.
"I am hopeful that many of my nursing and midwifery colleagues will pursue careers in informatics and undertake the education that equips them with the knowledge to lead the professions and advance our clinical practice.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”