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Healthcare: e-learning in India


A time for booster dose




“Open up the doors – to as many people as care to gain access to it, at whatever moments in their lives, however frequently they choose to knock upon this or that education door.”


The most demanding role for Internet lies on the availability of products/ services where the consumer led revolution has already made a considerable progress i.e. in the field of education. There are two scope of education learning – teaching and learning in other words training and educating. In a ordered education both has a role in a suitable proportion. The trained mind, having received basic information proceeds to flourish into self-learning and eventually understand with the ongoing process of exploration and discovery.


India having one of the most ancient culture and civilization has experience various ways of education system – Vaideic system, Working-hour system, to the door system/ Distance education, value adding system/ Part time education to now days on the desk system/ e-learning.


There have been tremendous developments in information and communication technologies, the world over, which have fueled exchange of views, innovations and individual/institutional works. On the other hand, there are equally developments in theorisation, innovations, reforms and research in the fields of learning. These are taking place within distance teaching and open education institutions as well as the formal mainstream systems.


Our aim is to provide a focus for developing a system to effectively and efficiently introduce a premium quality based e-education in health sector. Which not just provide a forum for exchange, between the teacher and the student, of ideas, innovations, research outcomes, best practices, developments but also provide a developed way of communication and information sharing on regional/ national/ international level. The focus is largely on need and planning of e-learning in health education in our country. This paper has five sections: concept of e-learning, need, present scenario and a systematic approach.




The concept of e-learning like, education itself, is in a process of change. Various interested group have their own definition but in broad terms it can be

-acknowledged education purpose for contributes in systematic growth of   knowledge.

-formation, devolvement and updation of data/ material/ information available in continuation and progressive series for the use.

-support to the flow and reception (ensure the best utilization)

-taking continuous feedback and action accordingly for further improvement.

-Reduce the unit cost of education at a time of massive expansion of educational opportunities.

-a more customized user-friendly form of learning.


There is no doubt that the opportunities have occurred doubtless too the suspicious have decreased in the past few years about the effectiveness of e-learning.





Sample Size-40

Target peoples-Medical students, Hospital administration students, Pharmacy students, Physiotherapy students and Nursing students.



For conducting our study we took sample of 40 students from Healthcare Sector. We further divided these into two groups of 20 each. Both groups are assigned a particular task, and asked to submit in written and present it before a fixed date.

One group has to use computer aided materials, online journals, web communication and so on to accomplish the task, while other group has to use only traditional techniques of education i.e. printed materials, books, notes, face to face communication etc. A panel of respected authorities of related streams evaluates and ranks the performance of the individuals on a scale of 1 to 10.



On the basis of survey, we got the following results, of two different groups.





According to the above table it is clear that e-learning group is more effective and efficient.

Ø      The use of rich text editor, GUI (Graphical User Interface) gives a complete dominance over traditional way of presentation.

Ø      Web browsers, online communication avail tremendous amount of information on just a click of mouse.

Ø      The audio-visual description, interaction with world–over-experienced faculties and various stimulation models provide a better understanding of the subject.

Ø      The ideal participation of eye, ear, and hand along with precise intellectual judgment determine the most suitable way of communication.

Ø      Online dictionary, grammar, thesaurus enrich the language of communication.

Ø      Involvement of electronic medium decreases the time.



1.                  Availability of more reliable and cheaper means.

2.                  Ensure the understanding or learning process.

3.                  Exploiting the available resources fully.

4.                  Incorporate with traditional way of teaching.

5.                  Make a conducive environment.

6.                  Pre-services, in-services and post services training and development strengthened to cover effective use of materials.

7.                  Develop a participatory program approaches.

8.                  Easy Incorporation of commercial/ private players in the field.

9.                  Incorporation of Academics, Research Institutes, student representatives.

10.             Flexibility in the e-learning programs like availability of special classes, assisting faculty, print materials and so on.



  1. Symbiosis center of Healthcare, Pune has successfully implemented e-learning and is offering Post graduate courses in Medico-legal and Healthcare Management enabling e-learning doctors, nurses and other medical related professionals from all over the globe are currently able to get their Post Graduate Degree from the comfort of their own place.
  2. GlaxoSmithKline has licensed part of Ingenuity Pathways Knowledge Base to facilitate genome-wide computational analysis of biological systems underlying diseases. There are lots of sources of biological content out there, but nothing is of the breadth (genome-scale) and quality (human curated information) of our offering. Now, for the first time, BIOINFORMATICS groups can build systems biology solutions that really work. (Bio-IT World, Online 22/09/03).
  3. Hyderabad with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and Balanced Budget Act (BBA) enacted to curb skyrocketing costs associated with healthcare treatment in the US, Information technology is positioned to become a powerful ally in the sector’s attempt to adopt well managed cost-effective strategies, provide significant savings in their administrative billing practices as well as improved clinical treatment services through the introduction of Expert Information Systems, Computer based patient records and other advanced technological solutions.
  4. Development of various online medical libraries like WHO-discussion forum, Health Information of India providing Health Online Library.




A national center to co-ordinate the education in various universities from production of material to assisting in technology and training of staff.


a) e-learning site development for a Healthcare institutions

-Before any site develops first of all recognize the need of such development or intention.

-Then a feedback of how it should be?




-Making user aware of it way of utilization


-Feedback, evaluation

-Continuous up-gradation.


b) Integration of the regional healthcare sector

Healthcare institutions (Medical college, hospitals, Pharmacy colleges, etc.), Research institutions, Regulatory bodies, Medical professionals all can be integrated on regional and state level.


c) National/ International Level

All regional and state level services incorporated with each other and sharing their knowledge, experience and technology to enhance the effective and efficient utilization of available resources.




Demand for technical and professional education is rising with advent of the society to be prepared for the next century challenges of the universe. Evolution through adaptation or adoption of technology is the only successful answer for this preparation. Pedagogy and technology always maintains a closed cycle between them. Sometimes pedagogy invents technology and sometimes uses it. Whatever the relation might be, highly customized and efficient education system needs technology much more than anything else. Research indicates that online learning experiences can be highly engaging and thus highly conducive to learning.

In brief, global exploration into any branch of knowledge is quite possible sitting in front of a computer with Internet communication. These made technical and professional education more comfortable and uniform to all over the world. To further investigate and make improvements in online medical course development, some co-operated efforts and researches into this area should be conducted.



  1. Health Information of India, 1999,Central Bureau of Health Intelligence
  2. Volery, T & Lord, D (2000) Critical success factors in online education, The International Journal of Educational Management, 14(5), 216-223.
  3. World Health Organization, Progress and direction in refining the Global burden of disease approach, Murray and Lopez.
  4. A framework for measuring Health Inequality, Gakidou, Murray and Frenk.




*   Nishikant Waikar, Faculty, Institute of Management Studies, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.


* Gunjan Saxena & Jagannath Prakash, Students,Masters of Hospital Administration-Ist Sem, Institute of Management Studies, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.