Call for Papers: Digital Health Skills and Competencies for Clinicians and Health Care Professionals

This call for papers seeks to explore and report research on digital health and informatics education, specifically the training and educational competency development required for health care professionals to effectively and efficiently practice medicine in the current digital age. This theme issue aims to publish work on curricular innovations to support such professional learning at any career stage for any health care profession. We welcome research papers that address topics with a focus on the development of digital health–related skills and competencies at any stage of a health care professional's training or clinical practice. 

Developing digital health–related skills and competencies could, for example, consider educational approaches, frameworks, or pedagogy relating to understanding, applying, implementing, and evaluating the use of digital health technologies at an individual, community, population, or society level for the benefit of human health and well-being. Such technologies may include but are not limited only to artificial intelligence (AI) applications (including machine learning [ML]) for health care, the implementation of health information technology (HIT) such as telemedicine services, or digital health at an organizational or service level.  

We also invite papers that consider the ethical, legal, or social implications of health care professionals' development of digital health skills and competencies. Physicians, specialists,  clinicians, and practitioners may arguably have a moral obligation to holistically consider the consequences, both intended and unintended, of HIT applications in routine clinical practice to uphold the oaths of providing clinical care to patients. In addition, we are interested in papers that examine the effects of digital health on health care costs and value-based medicine, the development of clinical informatics competencies, or the use of digital health technologies to improve access to health care.

Submissions are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Identifying sets of digital health core competencies at any stage of training or practice in a clinical or health care practice

  • Measuring and enhancing digital literacy or eHealth literacy in the workforce of clinicians and health care professionals

  • Developing strategies and educational frameworks for enhancing professional competence in digital health applications and technologies

  • Teaching health professionals and clinicians about bias and the limitations of AI (including ML) applications in health care delivery

  • Developing clinical informatics competencies and strategies to enhance professional knowledge as an individual practitioner or in a team-based or interprofessional care clinical or educational environment

  • The role of health care professionals in understanding and mitigating ethical, legal, and social implications relating to digital health applications and their impact on the care of patients and populations, especially among populations that are systematically marginalized or made vulnerable to disparities in their health outcomes

  • Developing digital health skills and competencies among clinicians and health care professionals practicing in low-resource clinical settings, including but not limited to low-income or lower-middle-income economies or countries

  • The evidence basis for clinicians and health care professionals learning how to use digital tools in health care and shared decision-making, and examining the effects of such professional learning and technology adoption on clinical practice and patient, community, or population outcomes

  • Novel learning platforms and modalities for clinicians and health care professionals to learn and develop digital health skills, including, for example, the use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or extended reality (XR); gamified learning platforms; or adaptive learning platforms

  • Immersive and engaging educational experiences for clinicians and health care professionals to develop skills in, for example, visualizing and interpreting medical data in real time at various levels from individual patients to populations

  • Simulations of medical scenarios involving the use of digital health tools or using immersive learning platforms to provide interactive, hands-on experiences for clinicians and health care professionals to apply digital health tools

  • Online medical courses, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), mobile learning apps, "bite-sized" or on-the-go educational content, virtual conferences or events, or social media–based digital learning that offer medical courses or materials to provide clinicians and health care professionals with up-to-date education and training on the latest digital health developments

  • Dissemination of basic skills in digital health applied to medical imaging, particularly clinical ultrasound: multiplane reconstruction software and ultrasound training through AI.

JMIR Medical Education welcomes original, unpublished submissions from researchers and practitioners in medicine, health care, computer science, and related fields. However, the focus of this theme issue and submitted articles is on the digital health education of clinicians and health care professionals who provide direct patient care for patients and populations. 

We invite submissions of original research papers, literature reviews, tutorials, research letters, and viewpoints. We also encourage authors to submit preprints for peer review in JMIR Medical Education. In addition, we encourage submissions that address practical challenges and opportunities related to innovative education on developing digital skills and competencies among health care professionals.

All submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process, and accepted articles will be published as part of a special issue on “Digital Health Skills and Competencies for Clinicians and Health Care Professionals.”

To submit an article to this JMIR Medical Education theme issue, please click here and select the journal section entitled “Digital Health Skills and Competencies for Clinicians and Health Care Professionals.” 

Submission deadline: October 31, 2023

Submissions not reviewed or accepted for publication in this JMIR Medical Education theme issue (e-collection) may be offered cascading peer review or transfer to other JMIR Publications journals, according to standard JMIR Publications policies, or may be considered for publication in JMIR Medical Education without inclusion in the theme issue, if the submission otherwise aligns with the scope and focus of the journal. Submissions that generally cover health care workforce development without a specific focus on digital health skills and competencies should be submitted to the Interactive Journal of Medical Research. Submissions focused on generative AI technologies in medical education may be better suited for the JMIR Medical Education theme issue on “ChatGPT, Generative Language Models and Generative AI in Medical Education”. 

Some submissions focusing on digital health skills development in nursing could also be suitable for JMIR Nursing. Submissions involving a focus on patient participation in education may be transferred or submitted to the Journal of Participatory Medicine. Early-stage formative work that informs the design of future educational interventions, curricula, or frameworks may better fit the scope for JMIR Formative Research. Authors are also encouraged to submit study protocols or grant proposals to JMIR Research Protocols before data acquisition to preregister the study (Registered Reports; subsequent acceptance in one of the JMIR Publications journals is then guaranteed). 

All articles submitted to this theme issue will be shared and published rapidly through the following mechanisms:

  • All peer-reviewed articles in this theme issue will be immediately and permanently made open access. This is the standard for all titles within the JMIR Publications portfolio

  • Articles can be made immediately available in JMIR Preprints (with a DOI) after submission if authors select the preprint option at submission to enable this service.

Guest Editors:

Filomena Pietrantonio, MD, FEFIM

Internal Medicine Unit, Castelli Hospital, ASL Roma 6, Ariccia, Rome, Italy

St Camillus International University of Health Sciences, Roma, Italy

Ismael Said Criado, MD, MSc, PhD(c)

Emergency Department, Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital in Vigo, Healthcare Research Institute Galicia Sur, Vigo, Spain

José López Castro, MD, PhD, FACP, FEFIM  

Internal Medicine Department and Clinical Ultrasonography Teaching Unit,

Hospital Público de Monforte, Lugo, Spain

Marco Montagna, MD

AI Team, Internal Medicine Department, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy

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