Free online course for healthcare workers launched by Dell and HSE

21 Sep 2021

Image: © tinyakov/

The six-month Digital Futures in Healthcare course will help HSE staff to upskill and learn about the health workplace of the future.

The HSE and Dell Technologies have teamed up to launch a new online course for healthcare workers in Ireland to upskill in an increasingly digital environment.

The free six-month course titled Digital Futures in Healthcare will include talks from industry experts such as HSE CEO Paul Reid, Dell healthcare CIO James Norman, and professor of health informatics at Children’s Health Ireland Neil O’Hare.

A move that attempts to boost the digital transformation of Ireland’s healthcare industry, the course will give HSE staff insights into connected health, emerging technologies, personalised healthcare, and protection of patient data. They will learn about the healthcare workplace of the future and the transformation of primary care management.

In May, the Irish health service’s IT systems shut down following a “significant and serious” cyberattack, as described by Reid, which saw hospitals and other HSE services left without access to electronic health records.

Norman told last November that care providers have long been the target of organised crime and opportunists alike, with hospitals held to ransom for their patient data, putting thousands of lives at risk unless they pay.

“Care providers have long had a duty of care to ensure all patient data is secured to the best of their ability,” he said. “But the cybercriminals of today have an arsenal of tools that they can use, and some healthcare providers simply don’t have the internal skills or experiences to protect themselves.”

He also said that cloud technologies were among some of the biggest game-changers in health.

‘New era of healthcare’ in Ireland

Martin Curley, director of digital transformation and innovation at the HSE, said that technology has become an important tool in the fight against Covid-19 and has accelerated the modernisation of Ireland’s healthcare system through Sláintecare – the 10-year Government programme to transform health and social care services.

“With the co-development of this programme with Dell Technologies, we can unleash a new era of healthcare transformation and help Ireland become a European digital health leader in the years ahead,” he said.

The Digital Futures in Healthcare programme will include six virtual webinars beginning tomorrow (22 September) until February next year. All healthcare workers who finish the course will receive a diploma certified by Dell Technologies and the HSE Digital Academy.

Jason Ward, Dell Ireland’s VP and MD, said that the past year has been a “turning point” for digital transformation in Ireland’s healthcare industry as workers pivoted towards an unprecedented use of technology.

“By equipping more people with digital skills, the healthcare system in Ireland has a unique opportunity to accelerate the deployment of technology to improve patient outcomes, protect patient data and support the vital work of all those providing vital healthcare services.”

Last year, the HSE’s Yvonne Goff told that in terms of a digital transformation in health, Ireland’s maturity level is “quite low” but that the “silver lining” of the Covid-19 crisis has been that it has “transformed our digital transformation projects”.

“It allowed us to be very disruptive and it allowed us to be agile and remove some of the barriers that took us years to work our way through,” she said.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic