As European society ages, healthcare and related social services are becoming increasingly important. This growing demand is creating unprecedented pressures on health and social care systems. States are facing skills shortages in healthcare occupations such as podiatrists. Although podiatry has undertaken a significant transformation with the integration of latest technologies for user assessment, stimulating and maintaining an adequate level of interest in podiatry as a career will be of vital importance to contribute to career progression and reward. In this sense, PODIATRAIN project will contribute to open pathways to modernisation of the sector.
PODIATRAIN involves the development of a transnational cooperation action, connecting three universities (UCV, MAMK and UoM) and establishing a solid base for future collaborative research projects between recognised podiatry high educational institutions.
These organisations will share expertise, skills and best-practices inherent to their respective countries, stimulating the development of a European dimension in podiatry educational curricula.
The three participating educational organisations will improve and complement their educational portfolio, offering new learning opportunities to current and future podiatrists addressed to advance in the body of knowledge of podiatry. Through the exploitation of the course, all these organisations will also reinforce their contact with podiatrists exerting their profession, shortening the distance often existing between the educational centres and the labour market. Professionals working in their affiliated network of clinics will be the first direct beneficiaries, increasing their expertise in the use of new technologies for the assessment and diagnosis of patients.
The three organisations will gain visibility throughout Europe, becoming reference centres in the knowledge of new technologies in the field of podiatry. Other European universities also members of the European Network of Podiatry in Higher Education (ENPODHE) will benefit the course directly after the project end through their direct link with project partners.
The technological center IBV will increase their network of contacts for future collaborations in research and technical development projects, IBV will gain dissemination action of the results of their research projects in the field of foot health, promoting evidenced based best practice from a multidisciplinary perspective. The direct contact to the evolution of IBV technological applications for foot shape acquisition and user biomechanical assessment, improving its performance and capability of analysis to be better oriented to the podiatry sector.
Project partners will seek extending the exploitation of PODIATRAIN course beyond its end through its adaptation to generate training materials for close medical and health disciplines, such as orthopaedics, physical therapy, occupational health, ergonomics and physical activity sciences.
Podiatrists and other foot health practitioners as foot & ankle surgeons will benefit of improving their skills acquiring more competences based on the use of new technologies for better assessment and diagnosis of patients supported by relevant European educational and technological organisations. They will have opportunity to receive a certificate following the structure of
Europass Curriculum upon the completion of PODIATRAIN course. Podiatrist will also benefit of increasing their employability while supporting the competitiveness of the European podiatry sector.
The participation of podiatrists in the project framework will be possible through the open-access forum that will be available at the project website. These professionals will have free access to create contacts, share experiences and best practices, pose their concerns and request colleague’s opinions.
Patients will benefit of receiving better service, more accurate diagnosis and improved orthoses using latest materials. In addition, as PODIATRAIN intends to homogenize best practices among European podiatrists, this will directly benefit patients throughout Europe.