Event recap: “Doctors going digital: How to future-proof skills” – Summary videoComments Off on Event recap: “Doctors going digital: How to future-proof skills” – Summary video

Joint conference of the Standing Committee of European Doctors and the German Medical Association (BÄK) – 20 November 2020.

The event was part of the associated programme of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Summary video here.

The conference opened with a statement by Jens Spahn, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health, on digital medicine and challenges posed by Covid-19 epidemic, followed by a keynote speech by Michael Servoz, former Senior Advisor for Robotics, AI and the Future of EU Labour Law at the EC on AI and the digital transformation in healthcare. A moderated panel discussion followed, on knowledge and skills required for doctors, and the means and methods to procure them.

Main highlights:

Prof. Dr Sebastian Kuhn stressed that “Digital transformation of medicine is often misunderstood as a primarily technology driven change. Much more important will be, that we as doctors are capable of rethinking medicine using digital tools. Educating the current and future generation of doctors is therefore key to ensure that technological innovation leads to improvements in patient care and prevents harm.”

Ms Lina Mosh noted the huge gap in current medical students’ education. Students wanted to learn more about e-health, but there was a lack of digital education and practical training. In her opinion, there was no need for a doctor that programmed an algorithm or code, or oversaw all health laws, however a doctor needed to assess the basics of digital technologies, oversee data science and understand the mechanisms of algorithms. A doctor would also need to communicate well, be empathetic to patients, while understanding their needs. A doctor needed to know who to ask for help and able to communicate and work in multidisciplinary teams (e.g. data scientists, engineers, nurses). 

Mr Servoz added that doctor’s task will not only be to control what the algorithm is doing but also to be able to explain to the patient how the AI has worked, what were the conclusions and assume the responsibility for the diagnostic or the medical conclusions.

Prof. Vilja Pietiäinen explained that the programme she coordinates at the University of Helsinki has the objective of getting students involved, giving the example of the innovation course where students organise the programme together with companies.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Debatin noted that first it was necessary to find a way to get digital technologies to be part of patient care in a legally manageable and a safe way. Government was important to provide the regulatory basis.

Ms Linda Keane recommended leaders to adopt an incremental approach when it came to digital skills’ initiatives. One should start with small groups, building a momentum of its own. Develop motivation among colleagues and then broader to the workforce, bit by bit.

Prof. Dr Claudia Schmidtke commented that patients generally view the digital transformation as something positive and the younger generation demanded such services. Concerning patient data, she stressed, first, that data belonged to patients. They alone could determine how to be used. Second, the use of digital services must be voluntary. If patients decided against such use, then this could not place them at a disadvantage. Thirdly, the best legal protection against misuse must be ensured. Data protection violations should be prosecuted and punished vigorously.

Dr. Peter Bobbert concluded noting that physicians need to improve their own education and qualifications. It was important that physicians had the opportunity to gain experience with digital tools, developing an understanding of basic mechanisms and of dangers of gathering and processing patients’ data. Trust was the key message to hold on to at different levels, trust in technology, in innovation and in patient-doctor relationship. Trust was the main condition of a successful development of digital medicine in future.

Full conference video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEdf6CN1Kmg.

Tweets: #CPMEdigitalskills

Please find information on all speakers below.

  • BOBBERT, Peter, Member of the executive board of the BÄK; Senior Physician, Specialist in internal medicine and chair of the committees for “Digitalisation and Health Care” and “Medical Education and University Hospitals.”
  • DEBATIN, Jörg, Physician and Chairman of the health innovation hub, Federal Ministry of Health, Germany.
  • KEANE, Linda, General Manager at the Irish Computer Society and Health Informatics Society of Ireland, contributed to two EU Joint Actions to support the eHealth Network: co-lead of the task on patient access to EHR information in JAseHN (2016-2018) and as lead on ‘e-Skills for Health Professionals’ in eHAction (2018-2021).
  • KUHN, Sebastian, Professor for Digital Medicine at the Medical Faculty, Bielefeld University; Senior physician for orthopaedics and trauma surgery, research on digital transformation in healthcare and educational expert at the University Medical School of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz;  Member of the committee of the BÄK “Digitalization of Healthcare” (2019-2023) and “Medical Education and University Medicine” (2019-2023); representing CPME at the “High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG)” of the European Commission and rapporteur on “Digital Competencies”.
  • MARSELLA, Marco, Head of the eHealth, Well-being, and Ageing Unit in the DG CONNECT at the European Commission.
  • MONTGOMERY, Frank Ulrich, Radiologist, President of the CPME; chair of the WMA.
  • MOSCH, Lina, medical student, former Health Policy Director at EMSA (2018-2019). Ms Mosch is currently researching the implementation of digital health technologies in intensive care settings at the Department of Anesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine of Charité Berlin.
  • PIETIÄINEN, Vilja, senior scientist, team leader at Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki.
  • REINHARDT, Klaus, President of the BÄK.
  • SCHMIDTKE, Claudia, Cardiologist and member of the German Bundestag and Federal Government’s Commissioner for Patients’ Affairs.
  • SERVOZ, Michel, senior legal counsel at the law firm Gide, Loyrette, Nouel and resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US in Washington DC. Former senior adviser to the President of the European Commission  on AI and the digital transformation of the economy; former Director-General of EMPL, at the European Commission in Brussels. 
  • SPAHN, Jens, Federal Minister of Health, Germany