Digital health skills
How can we skill the workforce of the future to support the growing digital health and care market in Scotland?
The DHI identified a need to review current education and training provision for digital health and care; to align the curriculum with the needs of the health and care industry; and raise the profile of the sector as a career opportunity. DHI, in partnership with SDS, have produced a series of recommendations aiming to address the gap between existing skills needs in the digital health sector, and the ability of the Scottish education and training provision to meet these needs.
“This project [developed] a shared understanding of key skills issues in the Scottish digital health sector… and fed the development of career
related labour market information for SDS Career Advisers.”
- Mili Shukla, Skills Planning and Sector Development Manager Health and Social Care Industry and Enterprise Networks, Skills Development Scotland
The digital health and care market is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Scotland, spearheaded by mHealth and health analytics. However, growth is currently restricted by: a lack of skilled employees; access to data; and data governance. The most important skills within digital health are software development, project management, and software/ app development, and this IT expertise combined with an understanding of health and care is rare. The sector needs data scientists, data analysts, software testers, and change management specialists to support traditionally nondigital sectors (e.g. public health and care organisations) to digitise.
Impact & Value
Since it was published in April 2018, DHI’s report has been downloaded by approximately 500 readers. The recommendations will:
- Inform the work of the Scottish Government Digital Health and Care Strategy workforce development group;
- Provide universities, colleges and private training providers with information that they can use to improve existing digital health and care education and training provision;
- Form a rationale to encourage universities to set up new Digital Health and Care Masters courses in Scotland.