July 27, 2021

Young doctors who are not very “digital”. There is a need for specific training

Digital healthcare is beautiful and indispensable, but how do we put it with the ability to handle it by the medical profession? And we are not talking about long-term white coats, but rather about young talent, the so-called millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996, according to the classification of the Pew Research Center) that digital should be born. Well the results of a national survey conducted by scientific task force of the Validate project (Value-based Learning for Innovation, Digital-health, Artificial in Intelligence) in collaboration with the Italian Secretariat for Young Doctors (Sigm) and byHigher Institute of Health – published in the scientific journal Annali of the ISS (annali.iss.it) amaze.

One in four use paper-based systems for recording clinical data

Out of 362 doctors under 35 who responded to the online survey (carried out from 12 to 19 February 2020), only 13% had experience with big data during clinical or research activities, 13% with -omics technologies and predictive models, 13% with artificial intelligence, 6% had experience in the Internet of things, 22% have experimented with at least one telemedicine tool and 23% of the participants stated that during their clinical activities, data collection takes place on paper. Even with all the limitations highlighted by the authors themselves, this survey must be considered as an initial mapping to investigate the phenomenon of digital health in Italy among young doctors. And it would be interesting to extend it also to senior doctors, who currently represent the largest slice of the category.

A specific path

Precisely from the generation from which, more than any other, one would have expected a global awareness at least for the most transversal topics, the weakness of a training system emerges which, while robust in transmitting theoretical knowledge and traditional practical skills, neglects digital technologies now in current use, he stresses Calogero Cas, scientific coordinator of the project. No longer a professional niche, not after the pandemic. Ignoring digital health would be like ignoring echocardiography or computed tomography. For this reason, in collaboration with the Italian Society of Leadership and Management in Medicine, the task force intends to create a specific path. The professional needs to be trained in the correct use of tools that allow you to improve healthcare outcomes and enhance what is unique to the human being, such as the emotional intelligence that enhances the doctor-patient relationship. Nicola Marino, member of the task force.

The creation of a core curriculum in Digital health

The next step of Validate, which a project recognized as part of the initiatives of the Ministry for technological innovation and digital transition, will be create a national and international panel of experts with which to define a national core curriculum, that is, a core of essential knowledge and skills in the Digital health sector. The correct use of the new tools will allow us not only to improve healthcare outcomes, be they clinical, research or financial but, even more, to enhance what is exclusive of the human being, such as the emotional intelligence that enhances the doctor-patient relationship, concludes Nicola Marino.

June 20, 2021 (change June 20, 2021 | 18:52)


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