ROCHESTER, Minn. - A new high-tech health care program is coming to the University of Minnesota Rochester.
UMR is partnering with Google and Mayo Clinic to create what it calls the "NXT GEN MED" program. The university says the program will be an innovative, groundbreaking partnership to re-envision health care education.
While its curriculum is still being built, UMR says the program will combine in-person and remote learning, implement technology to include virtual reality and an interactive dashboard designed to engage students.
In addition to tracking progress and making academic resources more accessible, the dashboard will also collect data on how students are learning, allowing educators to tailor coursework.
Mayo Clinic, meanwhile, will work to match students with mentors and provide work placement opportunities, building on its existing relationship with UMR.
Chancellor Lori Carrell says UMR, Google, and Mayo Clinic all share a commitment to understanding how humans and technology can work together optimally.
"Machines are getting better and better at being machines. What are we going to do? We're not going to become machines, we're going to get better at being human," Chancellor Carrell said. "Curiosity, compassion, community, and relationship, the list goes on. Creativity, right? These uniquely human things are what we will bring, and how we will work together as technology is enhanced is at the core of what is valued by all three organizations."
After two years of continuous learning, participating students will earn an undergraduate degree in health sciences. The university says this shortened path to a career in healthcare will also help alleviate student debt.
Chancellor Carrell says students in the program and outside it will have a unique educational opportunity at UMR.
"They will get a world-class education at an affordable price, industry integrated, and with multiple pathways to health careers that are in high demand, and that comes from one degree."
UMR says the program will start with a pilot group of about 50 students in the summer of 2022. Staff say over time the program will scale up to serve many more students.