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To rethink European Healthcare.

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Urgent Need for eSkills to Bridge Digital Literacy Gap among Medical Professions



Europe’s citizens are ageing rapidly and it is old news. The elderly population (people aged 65 and over) constitutes for almost 20% of the total population[1].  Health care systems are in danger because there is a growing gap between the increasing number of patients and the decreasing number of doctors required to treat them.

Since 2010 we started to realise that digital technology is a solution we have been looking for. Europe is facing a paradigm shift from a traditional healthcare delivery model to a system based on power of digital technologies.  European health and food safety commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis called upon implementation of digital technology in health care as it also has the potential to generate high quality jobs and innovative growth[2].

We started to tackle this challenge with a Memorandum of Understanding EU-US on eHealth on cooperation surrounding health related information and communications technologies in 2010; it’s roadmap on specific MoU actions is 2013; e-Health Action plan 2012-2020; Green Paper on mobile Health (m-Health) in 2014 and  we came up with many more during the process.

However, haven’t we forgotten about the ones, who were supposed to use it?

Shouldn’t we rethink ICT competences of health professionals?

How are they supposed to provide the information about trustworthy technology and help to empower their patients if they don’t know how to use it themselves? 

It is time for healthcare systems in the EU to face the health workforce shortages and health professionals’ competences.

Basing on recommendations of eHealth Stakeholder Group Report[3], we believe that it is necessary to strengthen education curricula of health professionals (Directive 2013/55/EU1) and use continuous professional development (CPD) programmes to provide them with a useful digital skills training.

The Digital Skills for the Medical Profession Committee is a group of young, ambitious and motivated students, doctors, engineers and policy makers who want to formulate new innovative ideas and solutions for medical profession to be tackled at the European level.


Martyna Giedrojc, Communications Officer for Committee “Digital Skills for the Medical profession”


[1] OECD Labour Force Statistics 2015 website:

[2] The Parliament Magazine, Vytenis Andriukaitis calls for paradigm shift in health policy thinking, 22 September 2015

[3]eHealth Stakeholder Group Report eSkills and Health Workforce 10 November 2014 Issue Leader: Paul De Raeve, EFN

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