Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General (fourth from right) and Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) (centre), flanked by NTU professors and WHO officials.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General (fourth from right) and Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) (centre), flanked by NTU professors and WHO officials. NTU Singapore

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has collaborated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) with an aim to shape the future of digital health and education on a global scale.

Hosted by Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), NTU's Centre for Population Health Sciences (CePHaS) has been designated as WHO's first Collaborating Centre among 800 centres from the entire world for digital health and education.

Director-General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who visited Singapore recently met with Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) on Sunday, June 30. He congratulated the University after CePHaS and WHO for the joint effort.

Led by LKC Medicine Associate Professor Josip Car, director of NTU's CePHaS, the centre will work closely with WHO to analyse how the digital health and health education tools and mobile solutions will be used to strengthen the learning capacity and core competencies of health workers worldwide.

Digital health education entails potential to address the increased demand for education and training through scalability. It also provides assistance in personalised learning, convenience and flexibility for learners.

Prof Ling stated that for the centre "to be named an official WHO Collaborating Centre is a testament to the expertise of our professors at NTU's LKCMedicine, and the trusted relationship we have built with the WHO in the last few years."

He also mentioned that the new generation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D-printing are transforming the traditional health care system.

In addition, Ghebreyesus said that it is very exciting to work with an institution with such a "distinctive track record and expertise in this field, and look forward to collaborating with NTU to address the global need for education and digitalisation in the health care sectors."

Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health Singapore, Associate Professor Benjamin Ong stated that the country has always supported any initiative taken by WHO that includes improvement of the health of people around the globe.

Now, after this partnership, CePHaS would try to bring like-minded partners and stakeholders together and ensure that expertise, as well as experiences in using technology for the betterment of the world in terms of education and training of health workers.

In a news release, NTU stated that CePHaS will now analyse how digital health education can improve knowledge, skills, attitudes and satisfaction as compared to conventional learning.

It also said by 2025, more than 60 percent of the world population, which is almost 5 billion people, can access to smartphone internet, said the global trade body representing mobile operators, commonly known as GSM Association.

In addition, the Dean of LKCMedicine, Professor James Best said,"We look forward to working with the WHO in enhancing access to health care and information through mobile technology."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General (second from front, right) and Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) (second from front, left), in a meeting joined by NTU professors and WHO officials. (Credit: NTU Singapore)
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General (second from front, right) and Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic) (second from front, left), in a meeting joined by NTU professors and WHO officials. NTU Singapore