Loading Events

« All Events

Skills for Health Thematic Innovation Ecosystem Workshop

27th April 2021 @ 10:30 am 12:30 pm

Today’s digital health landscape is one of telehealth, health informatics, health analytics and public health surveillance systems. Yet, health workers often lack the training, skills, equipment and support necessary to adapt to this new working environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that no health system can be resilient without digital literacy and the necessary digital skills of health professionals.
A country’s ability to cultivate a digitally skilled and innovation-ready health and care workforce is one of the most important factors underpinning national success in digital health.
The Skills for Health workshop will address these challenges, present examples of good practices and discuss what guidance is integral to policy strategy and action implementation.

For health and social care professionals, digital literacy and continuous education in the knowledge, use and application of digital health are conducive to a deeper embrace of the transformational benefits brought forth by innovations for patients, staff and healthcare systems.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the speed of change and uptake of technologies by health care systems. Within a few months, digital health technologies have been implemented to manage the pandemic and curb the spread of the virus, whilst telehealth has been maximised in primary care in an unprecedented manner.

Furthermore, health care professionals must become active promoters themselves of the digital transformation. This includes collaborating with all stakeholders involved, so there may be a successful identification of needs for which technologies can provide the most appropriate solutions.

Filling the necessary “missing link” between the progressive digitalisation of national health systems and the lack of required skills by implementing professional education and training programmes can support more innovative, digitally-supported, patient-centred, and integrated models of care.

Whilst profiling the healthcare workforce of the future, it is essential to identify core capabilities to develop and the necessary skills sets to forge a healthy and fair future. This spans from strong data and analytics skills, to even basic digital skills and innovation readiness and soft skills meant to increase problem solving. Furthermore, interdisciplinary work capabilities and the ability to be proactively open to change in processes are important.

Hosted by the ECHAlliance, the workshop aims at:

  • Identifying and sharing needs and good practices from national initiatives, programmes and EU and international projects and networks
  • Highlighting the key educational instruments needed to build workers’ capacity in digital health
  • Reflecting on the European strategy to shape the workforce of the future, including the Pact for Skills, the Digital Education Action Plan 2021 – 2027 and the new funding programmes where the topic “Skills for Health” will be featured
  • Leveraging the ECHAlliance international network of ecosystems and members to foster cross-border and mutual learning by launching the Thematic Innovation Ecosystem on “Skills for Health”.


Workshop Moderator: Brian O’Connor, Chair at ECHAlliance

10:30 – 10:40 Introduction: ECHAlliance International Ecosystems Network: The Need for a Thematic Ecosystem on The “Skills for Health”

Andy Bleaden, Director Ecosystems and Membership at ECHAlliance

10:40 – 11:00 Session 1: The Upskilling and Reskilling of the European Health Care Workforce: Needs and The Policy Context

Facilitator: Brian O’Connor, Chair – ECHAlliance

  • The European Commission Pact for Skills
  • The EUHPP Thematic Network ‘Profiling and training the healthcare workers of the future’ by George Valiotis, Interim Executive Director at EHMA


11:00 – 11:30 Session 2: Identifying and solving the needs for digital skills & innovation in the health sector; Testimonials from three Triple-Helixes involved in the Erasmus+ “DISH – Digital & Innovation Skills Helix in Health’ project”

Facilitator: Natalia Allegretti, Senior International Projects Manager at ECHAlliance

  • Germany: Cooperation with the start-up MEDVENTI and the Master’s course at University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg/Germany
  • Denmark: A mini-guide to smoothen the successful implementation of new technologies in health care by Henriette Hansen, Team leader & Project Manager at South Denmark European Office
  • Spain: Evidence generation to speed up digital transformation in health by Vicente Traver Salcedo, R&D Manager at ITACA, Universitat Politècnica de València


11:30 – 12:10 Session 3: Panel discussion on the open innovation approach to co-create the future of healthcare services

Facilitator: Diane Nevin, Ecosystem Strategy Manager at ECHAlliance

  • Digital skills’ needs in the nursing sector: the impact of digital innovation on nursing by Maria Teresa Parisotto, Executive Director at European Specialist Nurses Organisation
  • The HSE Digital Academy – Ireland: support the health care system-wide digital capability, capacity and competence by Martin Curley, Director at Digital Academy Forum
  • Upskilling Professionals for efficient and fast Adoption of Innovation in Health care Settings (iRaise – EIT Health Education Programme): blended-training programs for professionals involved in innovation promotion and adoption within healthcare organizations by Rossana Alessandrello, Value Based Procurement Director at AQUAS
  • Digital skills & curriculum development across education: workforce development provision for the existing and future health care staff in Scotland by Sanna Rimpiläinen, Research & Skills Manager at Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre


Final conclusions and call to join the Thematic Innovation Ecosystem on Skills for Health (Brian O’Connor, Chair- ECHAlliance)