The potential of digital health technologies in managing public health challenges

9th April 2020

Innovation readiness and digital skills of healthcare staff

The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus is putting under high pressure the health services of the countries involved. Containment policies are essential, but help to combat COVID-19 could also come from the digital health technologies that are demonstrating their potential in the management of public health challenges.

The “weapons” available, at this stage, to contrast the pandemic are essentially two: early diagnosis and measures of physical distancing.

Digital health solutions such as predictive models based on big data technologies for identifying epidemics in the bud, telemonitoring and telemedicine instruments, early diagnosis thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms and predictive models for drugs discovery or drugs repurposing, can be important allies in tackling the current health crisis and not only.

Those solutions and instruments can support the health and social care workforce, celebrated this week at the eighth annual World Health Worker Week for their heroic efforts on the front lines to keep the communities around the word safe and healthy, to manage the pandemic and attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

Digital literacy and continuous education of health and social care professionals in the knowledge, use and application of digital health are mandatory elements to deeply embracing the transformational benefits that innovations in science and technology can bring for patients, staff and healthcare systems.

The Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances DISH,  that seeks the involvement of ECHAlliance as dissemination and exploitation lead partner, is tackling the challenge of the digital skills gap of the health and social care staff by designing and Implementing a training environment able to create the necessary “missing link” between the need for the healthcare sector digitalization and the current lack of required skills.

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