Stanford University in the US has launched a new eLearning initiative intended to make high quality health information accessible to healthcare professionals in developing countries.

The platform forms part of Stanford’s new Center for Health Education, which was launched on 1st September 2017.

Headed by Senior Associate Dean of the Stanford Medical School, Dr Charles Prober, the Centre will work with their colleagues in the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL) to offer a range of teaching services, from free content in resource-poor countries to fee-based certificate and degree programmes in developed economies.

The new Center will use the resources and expertise developed by the VPTL over the past five years, including experts in instructional design, programme development and learner support.

The health content will be tailored to address a wide variety of audiences. For example, a topic like nutrition education can be tailored to reach medical students, patients, health professionals in continuing medical education or individual citizens in rural communities.

“Anything we create of inherent value for healthcare should be repurposed for healthcare for all, including developing countries,” said Dr Prober.

According to Stanford, the service offering will be funded by private foundations and philanthropy, tuition and, in some cases, research sponsorships.

In the future, the Center for Health Education plans to expand programmes by incorporating other health-related Stanford experts, including those specialising in climate change, economics, psychology and international law. They also plan to partner with other universities, government agencies and international non-profit organisations.

“We invite faculty from other Stanford schools with an interest in health to join in the effort and help us make the most effective contribution possible to world health,” said John Mitchell, PhD, from the VPTL.

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