Mireia Ribera is a senior researcher in accessibility and usability design at the Universitat de Barcelona and instructor of the Fraunhofer Usability and User Experience of Medical Devices module from the Transformative Digital Skills for Healthcare program. Learn more on which digital competences healthcare providers should develop and what the biggest challenges for digital health are.
Where do you see the greatest challenges for digital health?
With all the information available on the Internet on healthcare issues patients are no more the “objects” of the treatments but become “subjects”. Hence, a transition to a more patient-oriented healthcare is required. This means that clinicians, hospitals, and services must share information with patients and relatives, which shifts the decision-making to them. To achieve this, healthcare professionals must rely on technology and on designs that are more accessible for all, to help explain why certain treatments are needed for specific demands.
How can the digital competence of healthcare providers be developed?
Healthcare professionals are highly skilled professionals, who are very good in studying new technologies and keeping themselves up to date with latest innovations in their field. In relation to technology, they must be aware of the possibilities it offers for their daily work and know how to implement them on their workplace. To gain this knowledge, a basic understanding of usability and accessibility standards affecting healthcare technology, Artificial Intelligence, IT logic, its benefits and possible obstacles are important. I think their commitment to lifelong learning must be extended to this area.
How will digital technologies transform the future of work in hospitals?
Technology augments people abilities. It helps also to shift the focus from repetitive tasks to decision-making ones. This allows all to record huge amounts of data and analyze it to come up with the best solutions or care. I hope technology will enable healthcare professionals to have more time to focus on personal attention and to achieve their goals.
How will patients experience the possibilities digital technologies can offer?
Technology must provide a good user experience for all stakeholders: doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and patients. Patients will be more informed, more connected, and, if necessary, better monitored with the help of technology. Thanks to this development future treatments will improve – we have seen first results of what technology can do during the COVID pandemic.
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Jutta Haubenreich ist bei der Fraunhofer Academy für Bildungsmarketing und geförderte Bildungsprojekte verantwortlich. Außerdem betreut sie die Fraunhofer-Institute, die im Bereich Energie und Nachhaltigkeit Weiterbildungen anbieten.