The University of Manchester and Patients Know Best (PKB) have teamed up to help teach medical students about the use of digital health and care tools.

The collaboration between the two organisations means that future medical professionals can gain an in-depth understanding of how their prospective patients want to use digital tools to manage their health.

The university is home to over 2,200 undergraduate medical students, and nearly 500 of those in their final year will have the chance to work with simulated patients to plan the management of their care through PKB’s digital record platform. This opportunity will give students a varied and forward-thinking curriculum which supports remote consultation and patient management practices.

Kurt Wilson, professor of medical education in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Manchester, said: “We are really pleased to be working with PKB. This ground-breaking work will increased undergraduate familiarity, understanding and confidence in the navigation of, and contribution to, electronic patient records.”

Although students will initially be working with simulated data, there are hopes that students will be able to use the ‘live’ PKB platform and experience working with real patients for even greater ‘real-life’ learning.

In the near future patients will be able to volunteer to share their record with doctors in training so future professionals can gain a more realistic learning experience. PKB – which is the largest patient portal provider – says it will publish information on how patients can opt to share their data, soon.

Olivia Kennedy, education lead at Patients Know Best, added: “We are delighted to start working with the University of Manchester Medical School, helping to give these future healthcare professionals an authentic look at the complexities of clinical data, patient notes and the planning of patient care.”

PKB offers its platform free of charge to any institution that is teaching healthcare professional students. The University of Manchester is joining the likes of the Medical School at Leicester University, the School of Pharmacy at Liverpool John Moores University and the School of Midwifery at City University in offering the platform to its students.