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Case study: Red Whale

Enabling Effective Professional Development for Clinicians in the Digital Age with a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Red Whale provide clinicians with the best quality medical professional development education in the UK, creating content that can be put into practice immediately, enabling the best care possible. Overstretched and time–poor, GPs can struggle to engage with vital continuing professional development (CPD). With huge caseloads and stretched budgets, it is harder than ever for GPs to keep abreast of the latest developments through traditional routes. A collaboration between the University of Reading and Reading–based CPD provider Red Whale (previously GP Update) has enabled the creation of innovative and engaging digital solutions for ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning, informed by GPs themselves.

A multidisciplinary partnership

Working with Rachel McCrindle (Professor of Computer and Human Interaction), Yota Dimitriadi (Associate Professor in Computing Education and Technology Enhanced Learning) and Richard Mitchell (Professor of Cybernetics) the team have used their technical development knowledge and pedagogic expertise for the successful transition of the live training experience to online delivery whilst maintaining the humour and ‘brand’ of the traditional face–to–face courses.

Customer impact and experience

The KTP has enabled Red Whale to rapidly create and launch new business opportunities, drive their digital transformation strategy, become more agile in their working practices, increase the impact of their CPD courses and improve their customer experience. The new online content offered resilience when COVID-19 caused cancellations of face–to–face courses; Red Whale took the opportunity to support the healthcare sector by providing regular, sometimes daily, Covid related updates – free of charge – to over 40,000 primary healthcare professionals.

“Expanding the business to online training was incredibly timely. I am really pleased that our partnership with the University has meant we were in a position to be able to communicate the practical and pragmatic implications of the vast amount of research data as it evolved to GPs speedily and in an easily accessible, engaging format as well as continue to deliver wider medical education throughout lockdown.”

– Martin Haley, CEO Red Whale

“The project provided a perfect opportunity for us to apply our biomedical engineering, computer science and pedagogic expertise to help the team at Red Whale deliver an online learning infrastructure for medical professionals that enhanced their traditional face–to–face courses. Seeing how the project contributed to Red Whale’s fantastic support for GPs during the Coronavirus pandemic was hugely motivating and highlights the benefits of industry and University collaboration”

– Professor Rachel McCrindle, Lead Academic, UoR

Award winning

The project was awarded the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ and was submitted to the National KTP Best of the Best Awards, where they were announced as the winners of the Best KTP Award 2021 – an incredible achievement for a fantastic team.

Dr Susan Matos, Director of the Knowledge Transfer Centre said:

“We are delighted to see that our work supporting local firms to thrive and make a positive difference has been rewarded in this year’s KTP awards. It’s more important than ever to be helping businesses to access and engage with academic innovation, and our recipients of the awards showcase how broad the scope for that work can be.”

Interested in developing a collaboration with us? Please contact the Knowledge Transfer Centre for more information.