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Collaboration in building an Educational program of Physiotherapy and Health technology in Rehabilitation, Intertwined


The use of technology in medical sectors has steadily increased over the last years. Especially secondary and tertiary care have been heavily influenced by the emergence of new medical technologies in the form of high tech care and advanced diagnostics. Nevertheless, the domains of prevention and rehabilitation in primary care settings have not seen the same development when it comes to the use of technology. This is the result of a lack of relevant education that combines the knowledge and use of technology with the clinical reasoning regarding precention, vitality and rehabilitation in physiotherapy.

At the same time, there is an increasing need for physiotherapists that are knowledgeable in both medical engineering on one hand and prevention and rehabilitaion in the premiary care on the other hand. With people living longer nowadays, there is more emphasis on ability to keep functioning, staying healthy and hence contributing to society for a longer lifetime. In order to effectuate these aspects, more focus needs to be placed on the use and knowledge of technology in the domains of prevention, vitality and rehabilitation.

This requires an education that focuses on the prevention and rehabilitation of not only of musculoskeletal complaints such as arthosis or cardiovascular/lung diseases, diabetes etc. but that also combines this knowledge with insights and competencies in engineering and technology.

Students in this program will learn to invent and think of technological solutions for challenges in prevention, vitality and rehabilitation to enhance personalised patient care. In the end, this will lead to the prevention or delay of functional decline and more effective rehabilitation strategies for patients. In order to implement technology in these aforementioned sectors, a new relevant educational program needs to be developed that educates students so they become future-proof physiotherapists with both competencies in regard to physiotherapy and medical engineering. 


The main objective of this project is to educate a new type of physiotherapist that combines competencies in regard to prevention, vitality and rehabilitation in primary care (physiotherapy) with competencies in medical engineering, IT and technology on the other hand. 


In order to reach this main objective, three Higher Education Institutions combine their expertise, experience and efforts to develop different educational modules. These educational modules focus on a different aspect of the future challenges in order to prepare students for their future labor market. These educational modules consist of musculoskeletal imaging combined with artificial intelligence, human technology interaction (IT) and a Dragon's Den module, which teaches students to think and act as an entrepreneur, be challenged by requests of clients and patients, and to present these solutions to investors and companies. For this Dragon's Den module, a European platform will be initiated where clients, patients, clinicians and companies and investors meet.


Current status

The three-year international Bachelor of Science program will start in September 2022 at SOMT University of Physiotherapy. The intended learning outcomes have been defined and the program is currently being built. The VUB in Belgium, Tampere University in Finland and SOMT University of Physiotherapy in the Netherlands cooperate in building and carrying out this BSc. program. The program will be followed by a two-year Master program, in which students will graduate as a registered physiotherapist with competencies in engineering. Furthermore, an apprenticeship at a firm has to be fulfilled in the third year of the Bachelor program and one year in the Master program . 


These students are of value to companies striving for the development of (new) medical or technical solutions to remain healthy and vital, as well as to support clinical reasoning for physiotherapists. CEPHRI is inviting stakeholders to be part of the project as well, creating an optimal working environment for apprenticeships as well as a platform to meet, create, share and intiate new ideas. The community platform is being created, and will soon go live. 

Erasmus+ Program

The Erasmus+ program is a European Union program that supports education, training, youth and sport throughout Europe. Erasmus+ aims to give young people the opportunity to study and take up work experience abroad, to boost their skills and employability. 

Erasmus+ also supports transnational partnerships in education, training and youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation. Erasmus+ forms the bridge between the worlds of education and work, and hopes to tackle the skills gaps young people encounter throughout Europe

For more information, please check the Erasmus+ Website.