We will remember 2020 as a year when digital platforms and online technologies were given a huge unexpected boost. The world leant to Zoom, the elderly became tech savvy and distant families were brought closer together; workers realised that they could be more productive working from home, or anywhere for that matter; students and teachers suffered the transition of their classrooms to online platforms.
This didn’t pass us by at Physioplus, the demand for online learning almost became overwhelming. In particular we realised that in the midst of the craziness of the unfolding pandemic we were able to help, to make a difference. So, in early March we set about creating educational content on COVID-19 to share with physiotherapists worldwide.
We made a difference:
- In total 21 COVID-19 online courses and, with the generous support of World Physiotherapy, were made available to anyone to access throughout 2020 – over 23,000 people have taken these courses.
- As educational institutions transitioned to remote teaching over 100 universities integrated Physioplus courses into their curriculum to innovate in teaching methods and virtual placement delivery.
- Many clinics, from high income zones to refugee camps, used the Physioplus COVID-19 courses for workforce development and also as doors closed to maintain valuable professional activity.
- Then when clinical practice went online we added a telehealth solutions and a telehealth education programme of courses.
We had never really considered ourselves as emergency responders before but learning from the COVID-19 experience we recognised other circumstances where we can make a difference:
- The devastating explosion in Beirut created a need for rehabilitation knowledge to be shared and in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Humanity & Inclusion several online courses specific to this need were created – all physiotherapists in Lebanon have free access to these courses.
In addition to all of this work carried on as normal to develop new content and build community among our team, our members and topic specialists around the world.
We built community and content:
- In 2020 we reached the landmark figure of 100,000 Physioplus members.
- Plus over 100 healthcare organisations in 40+ countries now use Physioplus to provide continuing education, professional development and service delivery tools for their staff, students and members.
- Our team of internationally recognised tutors who trust Physioplus to share their knowledge with the world has grown.
- In total 97 new courses were published, taking the total to 242 which is equivalent to 1007 hours of online learning now available (with another 65 courses in production and coming soon)!
- We also published courses in French and Spanish – watch this space for a lot more language translation coming soon!
We will reach for the moon:
In our Physiopedia round up for 2020 I highlighted how last year was about coping. We leant a lot as a team, we explored our boundaries and in times of distance we grew closer and stronger. This, alongside the continued success of Physiopedia and the USAID grant that we have been awarded, sets a strong foundation for Physioplus to reach for the moon in 2021. With the one aim, to elevate standards of rehabilitation practice worldwide, we will be creating an internationally relevant curriculum, filling that curriculum with online courses and supporting organisations to use the online courses in a blended learning capacity for workforce development.
We will support equitable and inclusive education:
The Physiopedia Plus (Physioplus) mission is to provide accessible and inclusive quality rehabilitation education and professional development. We visualise Physioplus as the go-to place for all rehabilitation professionals to base their professional development and lifelong learning. In addition to this it is the revenue generating part of the Physiopedia project that supports all the charitable work that we do, including keeping the Physiopedia website free for all to access and giving people in low income countries free access to Physioplus.
You can too:
Your Physioplus subscription funds free access to Physioplus for a physiotherapist in a low income country.
Consider joining Physioplus in 2021 as a contribution to developing physiotherapy knowledge and standards of practice worldwide.