The importance of bringing technology into learning in healthcare


Technology has undoubtedly and irreparably changed all aspects of our lives, from personal to professional. Unsurprisingly, it has also extended to many areas of healthcare, with research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) showing that between 2018 and 2022 there is an expected 87 percent adoption of user and entity big data analytics and 67 percent of Internet of Things, among others, in global health and healthcare.

This indicates widespread uptake of technology in the coming years and illustrates the need to incorporate technology in health education to ensure that the future workforce is adequately equipped, as well as to fully harness the power of technology to disrupt and improve the way individuals learn as we move deeper into the digital economy.The disruptive and transformative power of technology in education is driven primarily by the fact that technology has the ability to make learning more interactive, collaborative and interesting. It also provides much-needed skills like critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving that people need in a rapidly evolving world.

Nursing and health sciences are, of course, not immune to the transformative capabilities of technology in education.The health industry is recognising more and more that it is critical for modern nurses and health practitioners to be highly trained and well-educated critical thinkers able to make complex clinical decisions – and there is an increasing recognition that the most effective way to produce these kinds of practitioners is to utilise technology in their education.

The transformative power of technology in nursing education

The Life College of Learning, which was established by Life Healthcare in 1998, has made technology and innovation its strategic focus for this reason and continuously implements programmes and initiatives that make use of the latest and most advanced technology.

Since 2013, for example, the college has upgraded the simulation rooms and digital education systems at each of its seven learning centres across the country so that innovative teaching and learning methodologies are used to promote student theory practice integration and improved cognitive thinking.As a result, the college now makes use of an advanced electronic learning programme that is conducive to learning and self-study as it is visual and interactive. The programme is a 3D human anatomy and physiology software used for teaching, learning and presenting.

Simulation, which is a vital part of healthcare training because of the ability to create real-world scenarios in a controlled and non-threatening environment, benefits broadly from the use of technology because tech facilitates the simulation of specific characteristics or behaviour of patients or illnesses.This allows students to get much-needed exposure to and practice life-saving skills without adverse consequences. These skills include basic and advanced nursing capabilities, a variety of wound care procedures, and labour, delivery and midwifery skills.

As the college continues to prioritise and advance technology and innovation in driving clinical competency, it is able to adapt and keep up with the ever-changing healthcare system.In this way, the college is engaging and connecting with potential nursing students and nursing professionals by increasing access to education resources and digital learning platforms – by introducing online options.

This means that the college’s students, graduates and professionals can be assured they are equipped with the right digital and clinical skills to work in this fast-paced industry. Just looking at the graduates who are coming out of the college, and will be in graduations taking place until the end of November, I’m confident that the Life College of Learning continues to produce nationally and internationally-renowned nursing professionals.

I am equally confident that by continuing to place technology and innovation at the centre of what we do at the Life College of Learning, we will be able to sustainably equip South Africa’s current and future nurses with the knowledge and tools they need to provide the highest levels of patient care – ultimately helping cement nursing as a critical, respected and trustworthy profession.

About Life College of Learning
The Life College of Learning was established by the Life Healthcare Group in 1998, to contribute to the national pool of skills, especially in the fields of nursing and health sciences. The College was registered as a Private Higher Education Institution with the Department of Higher Education and Training since 2008. The College is accredited as a Nursing Education Institution with the South African Nursing Council as also accredited by the Council on Higher Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training and affiliated to Nelson Mandela University. The College has over seven learning centres across SA: in Springs, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Roodepoort and a classroom in Mossel Bay. Courses offered at the College include basic and post-basic courses in nursing, diplomas in midwifery, operating department assistance and health sciences, and a variety of short learning courses to develop specialised nursing skills. For more information visit

Author: Peggy Naicker

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Peggy Naicker began her nursing career in 1986 and thereafter joined the Life College of Learning as a nurse educator in 2007. She is currently the Life College of Learning’s National Education Manager responsible for seven College Learning Centres across South Africa. She holds a Masters degree in Health Sciences obtained from UNISA in 2014

Company: Life Healthcare Group

The Life Healthcare Group is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and its head office is located in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is one of the largest hospital groups in the country and has more than 32 years’ experience in the private healthcare industry. The company’s primary business is private acute hospital care available through 64 healthcare facilities located in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces as well as one hospital in Botswana. In addition the Group provides services for a range of complementary healthcare services including acute physical rehabilitation, acute mental healthcare and renal dialysis. Life Employee Health Solutions, a division of the Group, also provides both occupational health and employee wellness services to private and public employers. The Group has a significant an international presence through Alliance Medical Group (UK and Europe); Scanmed S.A. (Poland) and Max Healthcare (India).

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