CatSalut’s ‘Smart Health Awareness’ course begins by training health care professionals and managers in the use of AI

31 JANUARY 2023

CatSalut’s ‘Smart Health Awareness’ course is kicking off. It provides training for Catalan health managers and professionals who want to learn about the challenges and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in the biomedical sector. Under a collaboration agreement, CatSalut is joining the initiative launched by a strategic alliance between Merck, IBM and Tecnun (Engineering School of the University of Navarra) to meet a specific need: training professionals to find out about and understand how new AI and Big Data technologies are revolutionising the health sector. More than 200 professionals have already registered for the Catalan course, keen to find out first-hand the possibilities these technologies offer to transform and improve health care.

The course is one of the areas of work being developed as part of the Catalan Government’s Health/AI Programme. Carlos Gallego, the course director, says that “It is critical for our professionals to know how AI can be one of the tools that have the power to transform the health system and develop the country’s research.”

According to Isabel Sánchez-Magro, the medical director of Merck in Spain, “Public-private collaboration is synonymous with progress and, at Merck, we believe that the launch of this course with CatSalut is a clear example of the importance of promoting valuable joint projects that strengthen our health system and ensure the wellbeing of our society. There is no doubt that advances such as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data will enable us to streamline processes, aid the generation of scientific evidence, and contribute to discovering new therapeutic targets and developing personalised medicine, among many other applications.

The course has a 100% online format and will feature live and recorded sessions. Through examples and experiences, students will discover the scope of data science in the field of health and so understand how machine learning or deep learning algorithms can help to develop predictive models, for example. The participants will also gain first-hand experience of some real cases of applying the technologies in which a significant advance has been made.

Continuous training and personalised medicine are part of the University of Navarra’s 2025 strategy. They are the basis of this course. The experience of collaborating with companies such as Merck and IBM in providing this type of training in 2022 has been very positive. This strategic collaboration will enable us to expand the training offer in this field in 2023. In this specific course, CatSalut’s involvement, by providing new speakers and use cases, will add value to the programme for the more than 200 registered participants,” says Ignacio Gil, Executive Director of the Professional Programmes Unit at the University of Navarra.

In the words of Juan Carlos Sánchez Rosado, IBM Health Industry Leader Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, “IBM is committed to training 30 million people in digital skills by 2030. Smart Health is part of this commitment and in order to consolidate digitisation in the healthcare field it is essential to encourage public-private collaboration, innovation and, above all, the training of healthcare professionals who will have to manage the technologies of the present, such as AI, and also those that, in the not-too-distant future, will enable us to tackle humanity’s great challenges, such as Quantum Computing”.