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Digital, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Technologies in Education (DART-Ed)

The Topol Review set out the important contribution that digital healthcare technologies can make in improving patient care and made recommendations for the education and training of the current and future workforce.

Technologies are changing the way care is delivered; bringing care closer to home through remote monitoring, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven technologies will lead to faster diagnosis, and speech recognition has the potential to free up more staff time to deliver care. This has been accelerated over the last year as the impact of COVID-19 has meant care has had to be delivered in new and innovative ways. In addition, technology is changing the way in which we educate and train the workforce, and in turn the workforce needs to be ready to embrace technology as well as keep pace with advancements. Technology can also help enable a more flexible and capable response to future pandemics through providing greater options to maintain education and training.

Alongside key delivery partners, HEE has established an overarching Digital, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Technologies in Education (DART-Ed) programme bringing together a number of projects being taken forward to further explore and build on the findings from the Topol Review.

The impact of AI and Digital healthcare technologies on education and training

In partnership with NHSX and Academic Health Science Networks the project aims to ultimately develop an understanding of the:

  • Knowledge, skills, behaviours and professional attributes the clinical professional needs as a user, designer, implementor and critical appraiser of digital healthcare technologies and how these may best be learnt
  • Impact on releasing time to care
  • The knock-on consequences for education and training for trainees/students as well as the current clinical professional workforce.

Outputs are framed around three key workstreams:

  • Horizon scanning and ensuring an evidence-based approach
  • Assessing learning needs, including development of a capability framework
  • Delivering educational resources and materials                 

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We are crowdsourcing any online resources that are freely available, open to access that will further learning for the workforce in Digital healthcare technologies, AI and Robotics to build into the Learning Hub, a digital platform that provides easy access to a wide range of education and training resources for the health and care workforce. This is a joint piece of work between HEE, NHSX and the AHSNs.

We would love to hear from you by completion of this survey about any online resources with content of relevance that are freely available and open to access. You can add information for up to three individual pieces of material for each completion, however the survey can be completed as many times as you wish.

The impact of Robotics on Surgical education and training

In partnership with Royal College of Surgeons.

There is predicted to be a massive expansion in the use of Robot Assisted Surgery (RAS) in the near future as new devices are developed and clinical benefits are realised. Until now RAS has been regarded as highly specialised but as it becomes more widespread there will be a need to define the way in which surgeons using RAS are trained. To respond to this need HEE has established a joint project with the RCS with joint sponsorship of a surgical research fellow. The aims of the project include: 

  • Developing an independent training set of standards in RAS
  • Developing a training curriculum (including a robotic literacy module for surgical trainees as well as training for established surgeons)
  • Developing a faculty of accredited RAS trainers
  • Exploring the role for regional robotics learning ‘labs’ (digital/ robotics skills hubs)

Topol Fellowships: Developing digital leaders in Dermatology

In partnership with British Association of Dermatologists this project aims to develop a cohort of Fellows in digital leadership and technological literacy to become future digital champions of the specialty.  Fellows will focus on any aspect of AI or digital medicine as applicable to bioinformatics, diagnostics and pathway/training re-design and delivery. Fellows form part of the Topol Fellowships cohort 2 which commenced in February 2021 and will also be part of the Digital Dermatology Steering group and part of the College of Education with in the British Association of Dermatologists.


For further information about the programme please contact DART-Ed@hee.nhs.uk.

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