Session 5: International Project Space

Friday, 19 June, 2015 - 14:45 to 16:15
Conference room: 

The role of Semantics and ICT educational standards in developing IT skills for Healthcare workforce

IT skills and competences of the healthcare workforce are central to the dialogue and the collaboration between EU and USA for enhancing healthcare. The “Memorandum of Understanding between EU and US” (2010) and the “Transatlantic eHealth/health IT Cooperation Roadmap” aim to build a common framework between EU and US for skilled eHealth/health IT workforce and eHealth proficiencies. The EU co-funded CAMEI coordination action (Coordination Actions in the scientific era of Medical Education Informatics for fostering IT skills for healthcare workforce in the EU and USA” - kicked off in 2013 and aims to contribute towards this aim. In this context, we investigate the role of the ICT educational standards towards open interoperability in education. To this extent, the use of semantic technologies in education could be further utilised enabling a better understanding of knowledge–based learning through learning analytics. Could these educational advancements lead to an online personalised learning experience covering the individual needs on IT skills and competences of the learner?

Education of IT skills for the healthcare workforce in EU-US: Analysis of opportunities

Physicians, nurses and other professionals interact with patients every day, and ICT, especially the internet, can enhance the communication processes among them, providing timely information to patients about disease prevention, health promotion, as well as treatment of diseases. ICT skills are: access to health science information, management of health information and knowledge, generation and dissemination of health knowledge. The development of these new ICT skills requires digital literate people. Funded by the CAMEI EC funded project, a whitepaper has been produced, identifying some key recommendations about how USA organisations and communities can cooperate with EU organisations in order to empower sharing, reuse, repurposing and creation of educational material applied in different context and promote renewal of programmes. After the analysis of opportunities about education of IT skills for the healthcare workforce in EU-US: authors conclude that: • Common challenges and opportunities on providing IT skills for healthcare workforce have been identified, assessing the cooperation potential among the EU and the US. • A benchmark in detail policy priorities of US on IT skills for Healthcare workforce and research sub-areas with those of EU (i2010, FP7-ICT strategic priorities, Horizon 2020) has been performed to help partners from the other side to be involved in joint related activities. • Open Education and the creation of some educational frameworks have been identified as the means and the guidelines of sharing, re-using, and repurposing technologies of new educational material and programs for IT-skilled workforce in healthcare applied in the different context, different languages and cultures in the EU and US. • A prominent base of cooperation where mutual benefits can be generated for both regions has been located, identifying key players from the EU and US.

Prioritization of Potential Policy Actions to Develop IT Skill Competence Among Healthcare Workforce

Background: Health related information and communication technology is globally an important and growing sector. With the promise of more efficient and cost-effective care, eHealth is becoming a key priority to address the current challenges faced by health systems worldwide. Addressing IT skills for healthcare workforce is seen as an important element of achieving greater social inclusion. Objective: To identify the actions needed to improve the IT skills of healthcare workforce across the EU. In addition, to identify priorities among the identified actions. Methods: A diverse group of technical experts, representing different fields of expertise in healthcare and geographical locations across EU participated in the study. A scientific priority-setting methodology was used to systematically list and score actions that would improve IT skills among healthcare workforce. the participants evaluated the actions using several criteria: feasibility, effectiveness, deliverability, and maximum impact on IT skills improvement. Results: The actions that scored highest were related to appropriate training, integrating eHealth in curriculum, involving healthcare workforce in the eHealth solution development, improving awareness of eHealth as well as learning arrangement. The actions that scored lowest related to the workforce management, identification of IT skills needed, joint funding for training program and training on potential workforce. Conclusion: To maintain a highly IT skilled health workforce, eHealth related knowledge and skills in current curricula, improving awareness of eHealth and continuous training according to the different workforce's needs should be addressed. In addition, healthcare workforce should be actively and continuously included in the development of eHealth solutions.

Joint eHealth Actions in EU for the next three years

The purpose of this work is to present the actions concerning alignment of eHealth policy issues between Member States in EU in the framework of the third EU Health Programme 2014-2020 and the Greek role. On the EU level the eHealth Network (eHN) is the central political platform to coordinate and prepare the respective actions. Those actions are technically designing and supporting by the body of the Member States who participating in the 6th Joint Action: Support of eHealth Network (eHN JA). The eHN JA body has the intention to act as the main preparatory body for the eHealth Network (eHN). eHealth policy is rolling out large-scale eHealth investments to cross-border eHealth services. Having the experience of programs concerning eHealth services, now the interest shifts to eHealth services to support cross-border exchange of health data. Citizens in EU are crossing borders more often as labor migrants, tourists or as patients to have special care, the transferability of health data across borders is important to guarantee coordination and continuity of health services provided by different health care providers in different countries. Aspects of organizational, technical, semantic and legal interoperability of ICT in health are a prerequisite that this cross border transactions of health data can actually be implemented. Following the adoption of “Guidelines on a Minimum Patient Summary Dataset for Electronic Exchange” the next step is the eHealth policy in EU level is the adoption of “Guidelines supporting Member States in developing the interoperability of ePrescription” and to put in place Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding for shared eHealth services. This work presents the main tasks and actions designing by the JA in the context mentioned above and the role of Greek participation in the Joint Action.

STHENOS: an online educational repository for affective computing

The main objective of the STHENOS project is the development of methodologies and systems for the recognition of physiological states and biological activities in assistive environments (affective computing research). The research aimed in developing human-centered computers that can understand states of the user (identity, emotions, and movements) using audiovisual and biological (neurophysiological as well) signals so as to enable an interaction mainly based on synthetic audiovisual information. The "human-centered computers" may be conventional computers, or even mobiles devices (phones, tablets), which are intelligent, mobile, ubiquitous and pervasive systems. Applications involved affective neuroscience experiments, experiments with affective smells, as well as, studies of emotion and depression or cognitive decline in elderly subjects. Game platforms for physical exercise (webFitForAll) and platforms for cognitive training were also employed in pilot trials of the project but were also considered for further developments in the pipeline for affective computing and gaming. The project team has also established an online educational repository based on technologies developed in the mEducator project. The application is available online at and it’s called Sthenos Melina+. The educational content is exposed through semantic channels, such as RDFa graphs and a SPARQL endpoint, and, thus, is available not only to the application users but also in other LMS systems too. It is anticipated that with the population of the platform with educational material, the site will function as a hub for affective computing education in Greece and beyond.
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