Workforce Development for Digital Health Innovations in Low-Middle-Income Countries
The World Health Organization (WHO) before and during the pandemic has identified many gaps in Digital Health tools and solutions for Low-Middle-Income countries (LMICs). One branch of global healthcare technology leaders have implemented several approaches in response: (1) addressing capacity building and workforce development; (2) providing relevant education and training; (3) helping create digital infrastructure; (4) strengthening supply chains; and (5) exploring the promise of emerging digital technologies. For example, the global healthcare leaders at WHO's World Health Assembly in 2020 and 2021 focused on the need for intensive care ventilators and medical oxygen. WHO has specifically recognized clinical engineers (CE) for optimally managing these assets and Digital Health tools, particularly in LMICs. With WHO, the global Clinical Engineering community has connected to colleagues in 200 countries, implementing the five approaches noted, at both point of care and population health levels, and developing policies that improve technology-related outcomes. The USA National Academies May 2022 publication titled "The Growing Role of Clinical Engineering: Merging Technology at the Point of Care" outlines how clinical technologies - and particularly Digital Health tools - are impacting global healthcare delivery and importance of systems expertise to manage and partner to innovate how technologies are deployed.
- Create greater collaboration and resiliency in the workforce
- Develop national Digital Health technology policy in LMICs to address priority national healthcare challenges
- Create national and international alliances and partnerships to share expertise and lessons learned within healthcare stakeholders groups