Education in SMITH

Digital Skills in Healthcare

Strengthening teaching and research in medical informatics

The rapid development of digitization is opening up a range of new, promising opportunities in medicine and healthcare. This process needs experts with digital skills. Medical professionals must be enabled to competently apply the new technologies in diagnostics and therapy. At the same time, the experience gained from patient care can support the development of new technologies relevant to healthcare. But computer scientists also need expertise in the special features of medicine in order to be able to develop methods that are appropriate and safe for the healthcare sector. To establish new, forward-looking innovations, knowledge of both the most modern tools of computer science and medicine is indispensable. Only in this way it is possible to pave the way for digitally supported, individualized patient care.

Digitized healthcare needs highly qualified personnel

In order to support successful and secure digitized healthcare, the SMITH Consortium has established training and continuing education programs in the field of medical informatics and related specialist areas. Experienced professionals, but also students and young professionals can receive training for current needs. In order to compile the various qualification measures, the Joint Expertise Center for Teaching (SMITH-JET) was established within SMITH. The working group brought together the expertise and experience of the consortium partners from academia, research and industry as well as the newly created Data Integration Centers. During the first funding period, it was thus possible to bundle together the necessary competencies and newly gained experience for the education, training and continuing education of new employees and students.

SMITH-JET supports the qualification of competent personnel at the intersection of medicine and informatics

One of SMITH’s concerns is to promote the dialog between medicine and IT. For this purpose, suitable training courses, new professorships, junior research groups and a dedicated PhD program have been established. Experts from the fields of medicine and health, computer science, education and the natural sciences have worked together in the SMITH-JET to design and develop qualification programs.

In the development and networking phase from 2018 to 2022, the SMITH-JET working group was able to achieve the following results for the promotion of medical informatics teaching:

Establishment of three new medical informatics master's degree programs at the universities in Aachen, Jena and Leipzig.

Further development of medical application, focus and specialization subjects in informatics courses of study.

Development of courses for the urgently needed teaching of digital skills in medical studies.

Development of the SMITH Shared Repository, through which online teaching and learning materials are made available for in-service training of SMITH partners' staff.

Development of an online course for physicians and other clinician scientists as part of the SMITH Academy. The course enables researchers to evaluate whether the healthcare data available in the Data Integration Centers is suitable for their research.

The education, training and continuing education offers are oriented towards the needs of healthcare institutions, IT departments as well as industry and their dynamic development. In order to keep pace with this development, SMITH-JET, in cooperation with the consortia DIFUTURE, HiGHmed and MIRACUM of the Medical Informatics Initiative and the German Association for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS) e. V., has intensively studied the learning objectives of medical and informatics teaching. The result is the Biomedical and Health Informatics Learning Objective Catalogue – BMHI for short.

Via the platform HI-LONa (Health Informatics Learning Objective – Navigator; developed by SMITH-JET) the BMHI Learning Objective Catalogue as well as other learning objective catalogs from health-related subjects can be viewed and further developed by subject experts cooperatively.

All these qualification measures are only possible in cooperation. Therefore, the partners in medical informatics teaching will continue to work together to shape the digitization process in medicine and healthcare through a vibrant network in Germany and beyond.