Competency-based learning system can help healthcare professionals prepare for the future

How a competency-based learning system can help make healthcare professionals competent and ready for the future.

Medical education has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. The entire ecosystem is in an active transition to a digital-focused way of teaching and learning. Today, Ed-Tech innovations, the digitization of learning resources and enabling knowledge are essential to create the physicians of tomorrow. They must be equipped and trained to foster the spread of collaborative healthcare delivery while dealing with unforeseen situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has brought about a change in the educational medium to facilitate continuing medical education (CME). In addition, other innovative e-learning methods, such as e-learning sites, skills labs, and clinical decision support systems, have taken off. Today, medical learning resources and applications, podcasts and videos with flipped classes, simulations, primary AR and VR resources are considered the future of medicine. These are now categorized as primary technological skills for the physicians of tomorrow to become global practitioners, helping them quickly adapt to working conditions where technology-enhanced procedures are the norm.

Medical education is heavily dependent on having digital mechanisms in place that are robust, easy to use, and offer a holistic mechanism for results-oriented learning. To strengthen these processes, institutions and students are adopting advanced learning materials and platforms such as mapped program content, class schedules, presentations, audio-visual lesson sequences, course evaluations, dissection guides, quizzes, case authors and other resources.


There has been a significant transformation in the healthcare sector with technological advancements. Several healthcare start-ups in India have developed a system allowing patients to have easy electronic consultation without being physically present, making it the new standard. The transformation is also visible through the IoMT (Internet of Medical Things), which is the key to developing products that require minimal human interaction to deliver services. These include medical devices, associated equipment and infrastructure processes, such as intelligent medical diagnostics, automatic disinfection, and remote patient administration. Additionally, Cognitive IoMT (CIoMT) integrates automated processing, sensory information and interaction through real-time disease diagnosis, observation and control systems.

Growing awareness of healthcare has put patient health and safety in the spotlight, and as a result, hands-on, case-based medical learning has assumed increasing importance. The advent of the Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) framework launched by the National Medical Council saw the introduction of new educational processes and a change in existing education delivery systems. The skill sets redefined under the CBME have created a competency-based curriculum that forms the basis of technology-assisted learning.

Holistic approach

These transformations underscore the need for a more holistic and practical approach to medical education. However, to ensure appropriate and ubiquitous transformation, it is necessary to make technological resources widely accessible to all and easy to access at all times. This, in turn, will help to acquire knowledge at all levels, develop practical skills, promote rapid decision-making, improve the quality of learning and equip the physicians of tomorrow to manage a plethora of problems that can present themselves to them.

To help bridge the gap and develop competent healthcare professionals, it is essential to teach them early on. A competency-based learning system (CBME) that trains knowledge and hands-on experience will contribute to comprehensive learning, making tomorrow’s healthcare professionals competent and ready for the future.

The author is the Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Manipal Global Education Services

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Norma A. Roth