Clinical Engineers: “Involve us in decisions on Pnrr and future NHS”

The appeal of the AIIC which closed its national conference in Milan

Clinical engineers must be involved in the implementation process of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, because the technologies, in addition to being selected and purchased, must be installed and must work “. And” we cannot ignore who, those technologies, must make them work “. Lorenzo Leogrande, president of the 21st AIIC National Conference, Italian Association of Clinical Engineers, which closed over the weekend in Milan. “A very successful event”, reports Leogrande, which “recorded over 2 thousand attendees in absolute safety, with 1,500 members registered, 800 participants in training courses, over 250 speakers and about 90 industrial partners on an exhibition area of 2,500 square meters. The key word of the various sessions was Pnrr: a very important opportunity for Italy, which presents ideas and critical issues “to be faced with the contribution of the professions.

“Let’s start again from this congress for the future of the profession and to start a season of new inter-company relations in the governance of health technologies – he says Umberto Nocco, president of Aiic – The sessions talked about collaboration, competence, innovation, change, but also about typically our technical issues such as cybersecurity, Big data, telemedicine, large equipment. We have a lot of work to do, but the impressive presence of the participants fills us with momentum in the activity of next year: we are ready to work intensively on a whole range of contents, to collaborate with other scientific societies and to develop activities that are typically our own as an association. . With the commitment to see us next year for the 22nd National Convention, which will be held in June in Riccione “.

In a note, the AIIC reviews the topics discussed during the Milanese appointment. In the session dedicated to collaboration between scientific societies, which was attended by Giacomo Grasselli (Siaarti, resuscitator anesthetists), Francesco Dentali (Fadoi, internists), Marco Scatizzi (Acoi, hospital surgeons), Giovanni Esposito (Gise, interventional cardiologists), Lucia Alberti (Aico, operating room nurses) , Domenica Mamone (Sifo, hospital pharmacists) and Salvatore Torrisi (Fare, treasurers and healthcare providers), “the joint message was clear: it is the right time to start an inter-company dialogue that translates into joint documents, into statements that connect concretely among them the skills in the areas of digital health “.

“The partnership between the professional areas that are unified by the daily use of technologies is a step that the National Health Service itself is asking us to make today. It is urgent to start working together – exhorts Nocco – by integrating knowledge, needs and answers, because the renewal of healthcare today requires an acceleration and technological transformation that none of us is able to ensure if we move in isolation “.

Another key theme, the telemedicine: “An ambitious project – observe the clinical engineers – which receives important projects and funding in the Pnrr, but to implement it requires obligatory steps”, as he affirms Emilio Chiarolla, Aiic executive. “We must first of all adopt interoperable platforms – he highlights – We will therefore have to work a lot on standards and on the possibility of allowing access to services. This means giving patients the possibility of being interconnected in an easy way to receive care not only on the territory, but consultations. even beyond regional borders. Telemedicine is a project that identifies the home as the primary place of care. This means bringing services that meet the needs of the patient to his home. Furthermore, telemedicine does not only mean technology, but also the organization of services: telemedicine must therefore be placed in a context consistent with the services to be provided “.

Clinical engineers at the conference also spoke about cybersecurity. “A few months ago the hacker attacks on the systems of the Lazio Region brought to light the need to raise the level of response in terms of digital data security. The risk is evident”, the experts warn: “International centers could steal personal data by requesting redemptions to organizations, hospitals, health systems. The PNRR has also put the lens on this topic and the Aiic Conference has also dealt with it with two specific sessions “. For Giulia Magri of Confindustria medical devices, cybersecurity and medical devices “are now closely related due to the fact that interactivity and interconnectivity between data systems has increased in recent years. It follows that devices and systems must be put in total protection. Furthermore, if the manufacturer is aware of software incidents, he must put in place security corrections. ”

“A real governance operation on cybersecuity is carried out in the PNRR – he underlines Francesco Martelli of the Higher Institute of Health – I understand that this is the first time that it is written in a high-level plan that an increase in the digital functionality of the hospital network has inherent a risk of hacking which we must be aware of. It is already a large problem and it will become more and more as time goes on and always developing new technologies because the devices are more and more connected. The important thing is to recognize the problem as we are doing in Italy, and to address it by increasing the awareness and resources of dedicated personnel “.

“Data security means security of information systems – he remarks Maurizio Rizzetto, Aiic expert for the sector – It means, for example, joining the GDPR, the European legislation on privacy, and the rules of the Agit, the Agency for digital Italy. The legislation is there, the rules too: we must find the correct application and the right skills to make it happen “.

Another topic addressed at the Aiic conference are i training courses. “Today we are witnessing more and more a contamination of skills – reflects Leogrande – We started with a degree in Biomedical Engineering: we are engineers, but we deal with healthcare, we talk about technologies and we enter predominantly in the medical field. Today the is happening. on the contrary: medicine is evolving, technology is entering in a decisive way in the organization of care and it is correct that in the context of medical training courses there are also contaminations from a technical point of view “.

“A reform of medical studies would be needed – proposes the president of the Aiic congress – to be able to implement basic skills in the technical field at a general level without confusing qualifications, because it is correct that there are engineers and that there are doctors. From our point of view, it is necessary that topics such as artificial intelligence, risk management, Health technology assessment, Big data be introduced within the Faculties of Medicine. All issues that today cannot be excluded in the formation of the medical profession ” .

The Italian Association of Clinical Engineers, which “for years has been part of the most important international biomedical and clinical engineering networks”, finally offers a look at the international scenario. “We have positioned Italian clinical engineering in an important way on the occasion of the International Congress hosted in Rome in 2019 – he claims Stefano Bergamasco, coordinator of the Aiic Study Center – On that occasion we put the main European sister associations around a table with the intention of creating a new body to share experiences, critical issues and trends in the sector. Also in Milan Aiic was the driver of this process. The objective is precisely the effective creation of this new European entity which we believe can be an important interlocutor with the Community institutions and with all scientific societies “.