DISH - Digital & Innovation Skills Helix in Health

The Erasmus+ DISH project aims at bridging the gap between the progressive digitalisation of the healthcare sector and the lack of eHealth and innovation skills among healthcare professionals

EN - DISH (Digital & Innovation Skills Helix in Health) is aimed at strengthening the innovation readiness and digital skills of health and social care staff regarding development, use and implementation of digital solutions in their everyday practice.

The project consortium, 19 organisations overall, is made of six regional triple helix clusters composed by health care providers, educational institutions and enterprise representatives that will test DISH concepts and outcomes in Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Poland, and is completed by two EU-wide organisations to promote its dissemination and stakeholder’s involvement.


The demographic change and the effects it has on the health care systems are among the key challenges the European society is facing. The progressive ageing of the European population increases demands from senior citizens who need integrated health and social care services whilst the care workforce is shrinking and less public funding is available to meet such needs.

In order to respond to this challenge, many innovative eHealth solutions have already been developed and many health care providers have invested in innovation. However, it often turns out that the solutions are not being implemented or are only partly used, hence the full potential of innovation is not exploited.

Many of these solutions do not reach full implementation stage for different reasons, such as:

  • – the solutions have not been developed in close collaboration with the health and social care staff,
  • – there is a lack of overall digital competences and specific eHealth literacy within the staff,
  • – there are barriers to changing organisational practices, pathways and models of working that enable smart solutions to be deployed.

Research results point out that one of the areas to focus on to succeed in applying and implementing eHealth solutions is the development of digital skills, innovation readiness and decrease resistance to change. The health workforce needs to have adequate instruments, capabilities and knowledge to face this rapidly evolving scenario, thus being fully aware and prepared to take advantage from the possibilities offered by the digital transformation in health and care.


DISH is aimed at strengthening the innovation readiness and digital skills of health and social care staff regarding development, use and implementation of digital solutions in their everyday practice.

The DISH project will equip the health and social care workforce with relevant knowledge and competencies as well as enabling them to use and implement eHealth solutions supported by national digitalisation strategies.

The objective of the DISH project is, therefore, to look into the present and future skills’ needs and develop, test and present different concepts, which will support health and care staff to better cope with the digital transformation of the health and social care sector.

Through work-based learning and training in a secure environment, the health and social care staff will replicate day-to-day situations where the use of eHealth is involved. The project therefore will deliver hands on education, in the form of on-the-job training, and provide the skills that the labor market demands from the staff. The project will use the concept of simulation in order to create a secure environment for learning.

Expected Results and Impacts

DISH provides a structured approach to the whole digital innovations’ implementation process. It is built around three concepts, main output of the project’s activities:

– The Learning innovation Units: An organisational concept providing a framework for co-creation which fosters multidisciplinary collaboration, innovative attitudes and team learning.

– The On-the-Job training: A concept oriented towards the achievement of concrete knowledge, skills, and competencies based on innovation and the daily use of the technologies in a secure simulation environment.

– Skills and Competences Assessment: A conceptual model to assess and acknowledge the digital and innovation skills within health care staff, which are obtained outside the official education and training system.

By making use of the DISH concepts, the six DISH pilot sites will enrol and offer training services at local level to a minimum of 600 health and social care workers and a plan for project’s results transferability and scale up will be included in the sustainability and sector skills strategy issued by the DISH partners at the project end.

Overall, DISH has the ambition of contributing to:

• the implementation of digitisation strategies on local level,
• the enhanced use of eHealth solutions by increasing the ability and confidence of health and social care provider in handling digital innovations,
• the lowering of mistakes and delays in applying eHealth solutions in treatment and care,
• the increase of time spent with the patient / citizen instead of figuring out how an eHealth solution works.

The Norwegian Smart Care Cluster is one of three partners in the Norwegian Triple Helix. The DISH-project is funded under the Erasmus+ program and runs 01.11.2018 - June 2022

Learn more at the project webisite