Technology disruptions in the healthcare industry demand continuous reskilling and upskilling for various job roles. Staying relevant with the right skills is the only way to cope with future jobs. While technology is driving the future skills needed in all other industries, Healthcare, a human enterprise, is primarily driven by human factors and not by the technological changes alone. However, change in our lifestyle due to many factors is impacting the job roles in the Healthcare sector and this has created an urgent need for skill development. In this guest article*, Dr. Srinivasa Rao Pulijala, CEO, Apollo MedSkills shares his insights on the trends defining future skills healthcare.
Soon your employability will be measured with the skills you possess. Are you wondering what these skills are and how can you keep pace with them? While the skills needed for your future in Healthcare depend on various factors, there are four key drivers that you must know are influencing the future skills to a great extent.
Here are four key drivers which are emerging as the driving force for skill development in Healthcare.
Change in consumer behaviours and disease patterns
Let’s look at Home Delivery, a massive revolution that has changed the way we live our lives! As consumers, we all are highly influenced by home delivery service across industries (Ola, Uber, Swiggy etc) and are expecting a similar trend in Healthcare. To meet the demand, few crucial skills jobs are emerging in the Healthcare sector. Skills required for Phlebotomy Technicians and Home Health Aides will have a huge demand in the future.
As a phlebotomy technician, you will collect blood and other laboratory samples from home. With an epidemic of non-communicable diseases diagnostic industry is on a huge growth spree and there is a growing demand for phlebotomy technicians. The home health aides are also in huge demand for geriatric care and post-hospital discharge care at homes. With relevant skills you can definitely have a career opportunity in these fields.
Apart from these Phlebotomy Technicians and Home Health Aides, the other skills that you could inculcate are Rehabilitation Aides, Pharmacy Assistants, Diabetes Educators, and Fitness Instructors.
Change in cultural patterns
Globalization has been changing the cultural pattern across the world which is creating demand for new skills. Other than globalization, the rise in nuclear families and increasing trend of urban, inter-state and inter country migration these are new skills emerging and are in demand. Geriatric Aides and Neonatal Aides are two such job roles which has emerged with the changing cultural pattern. Geriatric aides will take care of growing geriatric population whose children are away from them at old age and neonatal aides will help a young mother in taking care of a newborn baby, supporting in feeding, giving bath to a neonate and post feed care etc.
Related article: Initiatives, impetus and impact of Apollo MedSkills in training workforce for Healthcare industry Read more: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/apollo-medskills-training/
Changes in technologies
Healthcare is one of the least automated industries but technology has a huge role in complementing your decision making as clinicians. It is hoped that new technology will be able to free up time for the otherwise busy Healthcare industry by performing repetitive and mundane tasks and in turn it will create massive job and career opportunities for aspiring youth. And it has already begun!
TeleHealth Coordinators are filling up the gap in rural-urban Healthcare due to shortage of doctors and nurses in rural India. Telemedicine technologies are powering this change efficiently. This has led to a need of skill set to facilitate the Telehealth Consultations. There is humongous Healthcare data in the public and private systems and also with the wearables and connected devices in Healthcare which need to be properly stored, mined and analyzed and curated to build meaningful artificial intelligence for better clinical decisions.
There is a huge shortage of talent in Telemedicine and Telehealth. There is a combined need to train both clinicians and technologists in this area so that data can be analyzed. Here, healthcare data analysts and Artificial Intelligence (AI) professionals are going to play an important role.
One of AI’s biggest potential benefits is to help us stay healthy so we don’t need a doctor as often. The use of AI and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) in consumer health applications is already helping people.
The need for upskilling
While government invests huge budgets on upgrading the public hospitals, the existing human resources in the hospitals are not properly equipped with skills to handle these changes. For example a X-ray technician trained in analogue radiology in early 1990’s will not be able to operate a digital X-ray machines installed in recent times until he is up skilled. So the Government and private Healthcare institutions should also recognize this need and allocate training budgets for their human resource’s before their skills get obsolete.
The implementation of universal Healthcare Scheme (PMJAY/ Ayushman Bharat) in India would also need new skill sets in claim adjudication, claim processing, medical billing and medical coding.
To cope with the revolution and changing work culture, you need to up-skill and re-skill yourself. Your skills will provide you the much needed job security in future. Whether you are a doctor or nurse or any other Healthcare professional, you need to up-skill and re-skill yourself on new protocols of treatment and changing technologies.
*(An earlier version of this article was published on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-skills-healthcare-key-drivers-dr-srinivasa-rao-pulijala/ )