Open Applications developed in Brazil for Distant Learning in Dentistry: Valuable Educational Resources for Academic Professional Qualification
Technology Enabled Learning, distance learning that leverages Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), has enabled thousands of individuals to access educational content, , and encouraged many educational institutions to adopt this modality. In Brazil, in order to promote Permanent Education in Health or continuing professional development (CPD) of professionals working in the public health sector, the government created the Open University of Brazilian National Health System (UNA-SUS), which offers postgraduate, updating and improvement courses, focusing on public and community health. In addition, to improve quality in Primary Care service inside SUS, Brazil developed the Telehealth Networks Programme; a national program that integrates teaching and service through ICT, offering conditions to promote Telecare and Tele-education. A challenge in consolidating these initiatives is to service professionals working in remote areas, precisely those who need CPD the most. To address this problem, UNA-SUS collaborated with Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA) to develop applications for mobile devices available through the SAITE Store platform. This makes the educational content created by the institution available both online and offline, and using different types of devices. Recognising Dentistry as a primary healthcare component, UNA-SUS/UFMA developed applications for this specific area. The content is multidisciplinary, presenting relevant information to the various professionals who provide primary care services in dental care within the healthcare network. This paper describes the history of the partnership between UNA-SUS/UFMA, the focus on dentistry and alignment with the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of São Paulo (FOUSP) Teledentistry programme, the rationale and production process of mobile applications by UNA-SUS/UFMA, and their relevance for academic and professional qualification of primary healthcare workers throughout Brazil.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Ana Emilia Figueiredo de Oliveira, Romulao Martins Franca, Ana Estela Haddad, Lina Sandra Barreto Brasil, Judith Rafaelle Oliveira Pinho
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