IBM will collaborate with VetBloom, the digital learning ecosystem from Ethos Veterinary Health, to form a group focused on the application of blockchain for learning credentials in the veterinary industry. The goal is to create a framework for competency-based medical education using digital badges to support credentialing.
The veterinary industry is seeing the same macro-educational shift to micro-credentialing and competency-based learning that the rest of the educational market is experiencing. To address this shift, accredited Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the U.S. have developed new competency-based learning frameworks, and larger private hospital groups are exploring skills-based credentials that lead to data aggregation and competency mapping. Skills-based credentials allow hospitals to better manage labor stratification, scheduling efficiency and recruiting needs.
Based on the realization of these needs, the VetBloom group will join a broader consortium of leading academic and professional organizations in applying the power of blockchain technologies to support learning credentials. Still in early development, learning credentials on IBM blockchain will use this technology to produce a permanent and verifiable record of learning for skills certifications. Job applicants will be able to seamlessly connect with companies, and employers will be able to reliably identify verified skills among applicants for open jobs with ease.
“We have worked diligently with IBM over the last year to bring key industry stakeholders into this initiative, creating a veterinary ecosystem that will join IBM’s broader work around learning credentials and blockchain,” said Patrick Welch, DVM, MBA, DACVO, Chief Knowledge Officer of Ethos Veterinary Health and Founder of VetBloom. “Blockchain is a team sport, and the only way this initiative will succeed is through collaboration with likeminded entities in the veterinary space.”
Initial collaborators exploring the concept include the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA), and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Others will be named in the coming weeks.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to work with VetBloom and the other collaborating entities in the veterinary learning space over the past year,” said Alex Kaplan, IBM’s Global Leader, Blockchain and AI for Credentials. “IBM sees tremendous potential for the learning credential blockchain to support competency-based learning and digital credentials in veterinary education, and we look forward to continuing our work together in 2020.”
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Blockchain aims to address the challenge of competency-based learning by creating tamper-evident, digital credentials stored on a distributed blockchain network. This will make it significantly easier for companies to identify promising candidates, for academic institutions to manage the huge increase in demand for learning credentials, and for jobseekers to more holistically chart their career trajectories.
The group has already built a minimum viable product and is currently working to develop a second iteration. Moving forward into 2020, the group’s primary goals will be scaling the network by signing on additional participants and fine-tuning an equitable governance structure.