Opportunities and challenges of ICT in the healthcare professions

by Andrea D’Ambrogio, Professor of Computer Science at UniCamillus

The constant increase in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has now become a characterizing element of every socio-technical system. These technologies contribute to responding to

the growing needs that today’s society places in terms of quality and efficiency, but at the same time they introduce significant challenges associated with the new skills to be acquired and the needs for security, privacy and resilience.

In the context of health systems, and more particularly of health professions, ICT represents a tool of fundamental importance to meet the needs and expectations of innovation, performance improvement and reduction of expenditure in the most diverse application contexts, such as, for example, the provision of services in health facilities, support for continuity of care (telemedicine), management of health data (electronic health record, dematerialized prescription), support for diagnostic-therapeutic systems and processes and the resulting multi-professional and multidisciplinary interventions.

The opportunities offered by the introduction of ICT technologies in health systems and processes require, to be fully understood, an important response in terms of developing digital skills. The European Commission itself, in the report drawn up by the Executive Agency that finances system actions in the health sector (CHAFEA), underlines the importance and need to update the education and training dedicated to health professionals and guide the funds available for encouraging the development of digital skills and their conscious use. It is not only about updating educational paths and supporting continuous training but also about supporting a change of mentality in a safety-critical context that usually tends to oppose and make the introduction of innovative methods, processes and tools more difficult

The experience lived in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the related initiatives connected to the use of ICT technologies have had the effect of increasing awareness of the indispensable role that digital skills play for those working in the healthcare world. An appropriate transformation of training and refresher courses must be built and supported on this awareness, in order to fully exploit the potential offered by digital healthcare and effectively manage the critical aspects introduced by interconnected and digitally evolved systems and processes.

Andrea D’Ambrogio is Professor of Computer Sciences in the Degree Courses in Physiotherapy and Nursing at UniCamillus. He also teaches Health Information Processing Systems in the I level Online Master in Management for the coordination functions in the Healthcare Professions at UniCamillus.

The Master, in particular, aims to train professional figures for the position of “Healthcare Manager” capable of guaranteeing the supervision and coordination in public and private healthcare facility.

The lessons are delivered in e-learning mode with the possibility of accessing the platform 24 hours a day and using, at any time, all the teaching material made available by the teaching staff.

For more information about the Master click HERE