The DISH project was presented at two important international events: the 3rd Digital Health Society Summit and the 16th edition of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, a global multistakeholder platform that facilitates the discussion of the public policy issues pertaining to the internet.
By participating in these events, the project has taken an active part in the discussion on the progressive digitalisation of the healthcare sector with European and global leaders, highlighting the relevance of digital upskilling of the health and care workforce.
The 3rd Digital Health Society Summit, hosted by the European Connected Health Alliance, was held virtually on 23-24 November under the theme ‘Health Data for Society’. The DISH project was represented by Ms Trine Ungermann Fredskild, Region of Southern Denmark, who spoke in a panel on ‘Health in working and living environments – what skills and which data do we lack?’.
While the advent of new technologies is one of the key factors driving the transformation of the healthcare sector in Europe, it is quite evident that there is a need to bridge the gap between the human adaptability capacity and the speed of technological change. Ms Ungermann Fredskild outlined some of the challenges and solutions in implementing upskilling and reskilling programmes at the operational level, emphasising that these programmes should take into account not only healthcare professionals but also citizens and patients who are often left behind. She reflected in particular on the three DISH concepts which have inspired the definition of learning intervention addressing the patients population. To illustrate what that means in practice, Ms Trine introduced a project, currently being developed by the Region of Southern Denmark, that builds on DISH concepts and methodologies and aims to foster digital skills of patients.
The 16th Internet Governance Forum of the United Nations, hosted by the Government of Poland in Katowice, was held on 6-10 December under the overarching theme ‘Internet United’. Mr George Valiotis, European Health Management Association, represented the DISH project in a session titled ‘Are we shaping the digital market to all citizens?’ led by the European Connected Health Alliance. In his virtual address, Mr Valiotis spoke about the role of health management in leading citizen empowerment in the context of digital transformation of healthcare.
In his presentation, he provided an overview of the EU objectives for the digital transformation of health systems, and what health managers believe to be the key components in digital transformation. Mr Valiotis emphasised that the adoption of new processes should have accessibility and inclusivity as leading factors, and to ensure that this is the case, partnerships are essential. He ended his presentation by highlighting projects that are impacting digital accessibility and inclusivity, including the DISH project as an example in which the healthcare workforce, by improving its digital skills, can work together with patients and citizens to make digitalisation more accessible to everyone.
Earlier in the year, the DISH project also participated in the EHMA 2021 Annual Conference, where it received the EHMA Award for the Best Poster for a poster outlining the DISH concepts. By sharing learnings and good practices from the project in these and similar events, the DISH project positions itself at the centre of facilitating the sector-wide implementation of e-Health solutions, an important role to be played in the ongoing digital transformation of healthcare.