Digitalising healthcare and human capital - invest in lifelong learning

Professions will change or even disappear due to the digitalisation of the labour market. However, most employees will find it relatively easy to adapt, with a substantial number even increasing their income and strengthening their position. There will be new jobs and roles for those who are willing to develop new skills and broaden their knowledge.

This is the conclusion of research commissioned by the Top Sectors Life Sciences & Health, Energy, High Tech Systems and Materials, and Chemistry, together with the ICT sector. As a consequence, lifelong learning will be required for everybody. Government, social partners and education institutes need to invest and cooperate to make this possible. In the age of globalisation and digitalisation, doing nothing is not an option.

The Dutch healthcare sector, in particular, is at a crossroads and in need of change. An aging population and innovative expensive treatment options are driving healthcare costs up. On top of that, a lack of qualified personnel threatens the quality of care. Digitalisation is a major opportunity for healthcare. A bonus is that it will give patients a greater role in managing their health issues and determining their own journey through the healthcare system. 

Digital transformations that connect and enable analysis of every piece of data across channels, operation, and patient outreach, are within reach. From providing personalised care options to gathering insights to address new care formats, such as telemedicine and outpatient care, digital technologies are a crucial tool for providers, insurers, and medical service industries. By knocking down organisational silos, operators are able to profit from the advantages of a more interoperable model. To implement this, the workforce has to learn new digital skills, while interpersonal skills remain just as important in healthcare as they always have been. We must all invest in learning these new skills, but also in the cultural transformation needed to reap the benefits.

In the new strategy for mission-driven innovation policy for health and care, the opportunities of digitalisation and interprofessional cooperation will be addressed, and our stakeholders will be involved in collaborations.

Please contact Hanneke Heeres, coordinator Human Capital Agenda, for further information or read the published research report here

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