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in Biomedical Engineering and Health Management in Kyrgyzstan

Partners

  • Westsaxon University of Applied Sciences Zwickau (WHZ)
  • Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUCN; Universitatea Tehnica din Cluj-Napoca)
  • University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics (UZ-FOI)
  • yrgyz State University of Construction, Transport and Architecture named after N. Isanov (KSUCTA)
  • Kyrgyz State Technical University named after I.Razzakov (KSTU)
  • .K. Akhunbaev Kyrgyz State Medical Academy (KSMA)
  • Osh State University (OSU)
  • Naryn State University named after S.Naamatov (NSU)
  • Issykkul State University named after K.Tynystanov (IKSU)
  • Talas State University (TalSU)

Duration 15.10.2015-14.10.2018

Aims and Objectives

The project aims to develop the education, based on best practices from EU partners, given the restrictions in Central Asia, and enabled by distance learning technologies. Also, the aim is to enable efficient usage of financial resources for medical equipment. And finally, education in healthcare issues is important for the Kyrgyz society at large as well as for the individual person to serve with a meaningful occupation in life. Bounding this experience in Kyrgyzstan with EU countries will further increase the ties between both regions. What regards the individual persons the objective is to enable students to autonomously operate labs with medical equipment. The operation of labs comprises technically sound concepts and implementation as well as economic considerations. To develop the education we will focus on the area health, with the partial focuses to medical engineering and healthcare economics. Therefore, the final objective for the project is to get at least one discipline of study completely running through the pilot year. Though, due to the limited timeframe of the project the pilot year will only be the first year of the study program which will comprise about four years altogether. This leads to another objective, namely a sustainable development of the disciplines of study, beyond the project duration. Sustainable development can only be reached if the relevant ministry supports project intentions. The existing contacts from the ministries will contribute to regular updates about the project progress to assure the sustainable long-term development. Regarding the industry it is intended to involve appropriate suppliers from EU companies. Therefore, the subsidiary objective is to get a buy-in from industry for further activities in the region.

Activities

The project has several main areas of development: business case evaluation for healthcare improvements in Kyrgyzstan, curriculum development, university lecturer education. Besides, the technical infrastructure has to be developed and operated. The crucial point for the business case evaluation is that there is to find a trade-off between the scarce financial resources and the wide spectrum of required medical equipment. This leads to the question of how to distribute the finances over the available field of application. Field of application here is the healthcare sector, distributed into the remote regions of Kyrgyzstan. To achieve the business case evaluation we focus in our first work package for preparation onto the analysis of the healthcare sector, with regards to gaps in the healthcare systems and resulting urgent needs. An important building block for the evaluation is the data analysis. It will be substantially supported by the Kyrgyz partners, notably the partners from the remote regions. An important aspect of the analysis is the cultural difference to the EU healthcare system. Traditionally, the Kyrgyz healthcare was based on the work of shamans. Even today, several people, especially from far remote places, rely on shaman activities. It might influence the outcome of the analysis and therefore it has to be taken into account. From the analysis the demand will be derived. First stands the demand to fill gaps in the healthcare system, second, and most important for the project, the demand of educational capacities. Again, the derived educational capacity is constrained by the cost efficiency required to be applied. The same question we have to answer in project about the distribution of the resources is faced after project end in the further development of the healthcare sector in Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, the project results in this first work package will be a blueprint on which the further executing institutions can build up. The second important aspect of the project is the curriculum development. In the first phase the main framework of the curriculum will be derived. It depends solely on the outcomes of the first analysis, mentioned above. From the current perspective the following areas are most important: biomedical engineering, medical informatics and healthcare economics. Biomedical engineering refers to the knowledge of the medical equipment. It comprises the basic physical principles, anatomy and the interfaces which are to expect at the device edge. An important interface type is image analysis. Many diagnostic devices rely on imaging of certain biological phenomena. Device interfaces and the data acquired therewith is the starting-point for the topics of medical informatics. Device operators need support from medical informatics for data processing and storage. Another important building block for the education is the business administration of medical labs in particular and healthcare processes in general. The framework development will be based on the experiences of the EU partners, bringing in blueprints for Bachelor study cycles with the different specializations. As from the current perspective it is expected that the resulting curriculum framework is a fusion of different curricula, strongly aligned with the local requirements derived above. Based on the general framework of the curriculum a detailed curriculum for all lectures, seminars and labs will be developed. It essentially contains building blocks with a significant part of distance learning. Again, the EU partners serve with their experience and their concrete contents in the intended subjects. The local teachers will help to fusion the EU partners’ contents with the local requirements and learning conditions. During the development of the overall curriculum framework and details the focus will be on modularization of the education modules. Modules need to have clear interfaces between each other, on the one hand to shape a sound education cycle, on the other hand to enable life-long learning, partially independent from the overall curriculum framework. These professional development courses (usually taken by persons with academic grade) need to be further shaped with the help of the medical institutions and adapted to the requirements. One particular challenge for projects in education is the different culture in teaching and learning and it has to be taken into account seriously. The Kyrgyz education system is strongly characterized by teacher-oriented teaching, memorizing and little degree of independent learning. Most learners, especially women, will not be able to establish an appropriate learning environment at their home, due to cramped living conditions in large families, lack of computer and internet infrastructure, traditional family roles and other traditions. Hence, most of the education will take place in the university. Only a small number of qualified lecturers in the targeted subjects can be found in Kyrgyzstan. Their pedagogical skills are usually inadequate for the planning teaching approach. Therefore, all activities have to take these special social and cultural conditions into account in order to be successful. The project pilot will solely rely on the infrastructure for distance learning. Especially universities participating first time in such a project will have to receive sufficient investments to build up this capacity. The transition to self-directed learning will be supported by initial workshops for learners and continuous assistance by tutors. To support these concepts, Kyrgyz lecturers and young scientists with good language skills from the participating universities will be prepared by intense pedagogical and subject-specific trainings at European universities to adequately support self-directed learning didactical and content-addressed. Also didactical trainings for language teachers are planned.

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