Are you a 21st century health professional?

By 22 April, 2020 No Comments

The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to reconsider the way we serve citizens. In this new scenario, healthcare-oriented technological tools become essential both for health professionals and the community in general. Information, triage or patient monitoring are some of the tasks we are carrying out remotely thanks to various technological solutions.

We must be able to use all the resources at our disposal to tackle this crisis, but we must also be aware of the extra value that technology is bringing us. We are learning a great deal on this journey, and later on we will have to rethink many of the things we have been doing until now.

In this specific context, we have to think about whether we health professionals are prepared to adapt to this more digital scenario and offer a medicine in line with current times. In many cases we do not know the technological tools applicable to the health field, or we do not know how to use them. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge about the digital skills that a health professional should have, so it is difficult to know the real capabilities of each person and therefore what they should learn.

Along the same lines, in February this year the European Commission published the European strategy for digital transformation, in which it identified data security, reliable human-centered artificial intelligence and education in digital skills as key aspects.

We must have a plan to facilitate the adaptation of health professionals to new realities, so that we can benefit from the opportunities that digital health offers to professionals and citizens.

It is important to have a starting point, where health professionalsare awareof what they know and conscious of the areas in which they should develop their skills, directing their learning towards this.

To help them in this task, we have developed a self-assessment questionnaire. In about 15 minutes, free of charge and anonymously, anyone can get an idea of their digital competencies as a health professional and compare themselves with pre-established objectives set for this profile.

This questionnaire is based on the European framework of digital competences for citizenship and takes as a basis the DigComp project, developed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in 2013, which was updated in 2016. DigComp offers a homogeneous and stable theoretical scenario that allows to describe digital competence in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. It defines 21 competencies grouped into 5 areas: information, communication, content creation, security and problem solving.

Within the framework of the Basque Government’s Ikanos project, we developed a digital profile for health professionals, as well as the specific online self-assessment test.

At the end of the questionnaire, a personalized report can be downloaded, together with the objectives that it would be desirable to have in each of the areas.

In this way, each health professional can find out about their knowledge and skills in each of the areas related to the application of technological tools in health, and thus know which areas they would have to improve to take advantage of every benefit they can offer.

The scenario is changing rapidly and we health professionals have to adapt. Only by being aware of our capabilities and limitations will we be able to move forward and face up to the demands of 21st century medicine.

Technology will not replace healthcare, but only those who adapt to using the new tools will have a competitive advantage.

Don’t be left behind! Test your knowledge and move forward with us!



Mikel García Merino

Marisa Merino Hernández