Published Date: 30 January, 2023
Last updated on: 24 April, 2023
Read the original article in Omnia Health Magazine.
Global demand for qualified medical professionals is at peak levels and, in many regions, demand is outstripping the supply of medical staff, with shortages impacting the availability of healthcare. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 18 million additional healthcare professionals will be required worldwide by 2030, and there may be a global shortfall of a staggering 10 million healthcare workers. The GCC will not be immune to the effects of this shortage, and countries in the region are exploring how to recruit and retain the next generation of healthcare workers with technologies including verification tools.
Worldwide, medical universities and facilities are witnessing an influx of students, which is a positive first step in supporting the growing demand for qualified professionals in the healthcare sector. In the GCC, organisations, governments and healthcare providers are engaging in strategies to expand the medical workforce to support economic growth plans, including the UAE’s economic and strategic plans and Saudi Vision 2030. Further supporting the growing demand for medical professionals, from educational to employment processes, the technology powering verification tools has evolved at a rapid rate globally.
Technology in the hiring and verification of potential candidates has proved essential in the healthcare industry, with digitisation methods, Application Programming Interface (API) platforms, blockchain security measures, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and pioneering Primary Source Verification (PSV) services being utilised in unison to aid students, professionals, employers and recruiters.
Universities are a prime example of how institutes and organisations are adopting digital solutions to aid qualification processes and record keeping for medical students. The use of technology to store essential documents, including academic degrees, passports and important personal information, is now widely accepted globally across educational facilities and is paramount to providing quick and authorised access to student records. Existing frameworks are consistently evaluated and updated to best aid in the efficacy, safety and security of digitised methods of document and record-keeping. Digitisation is a growing trend that is evident across multiple industries and sectors and continues to provide benefits, including time and cost savings, increased accuracy and ease of use for organisations, students, applicants, and employers.
API-driven platforms are used to help an organisation or employer validate information and documents in real time. The instantaneous, ‘real-time’ nature API platforms allow for is integral to support the growing need for healthcare professionals on a global scale as employers need to ensure the validity of educational documents both quickly and effectively. API platforms are widely used in the verification of applicants’ professional and personal documents and provide one of the quickest and easiest ways to validate an individual’s details. The validation to prove authenticity of personal details and identities helps prevent fraudulent activities, recognise theft, and other false authorisations, and ensures the validity of a qualified professional and corresponding documents. Passport verification APIs are the most widely used to confirm a person’s identity, including their name, nationality, and date of birth. A number of verification providers and issuing authorities employ multiple APIs to confirm identities and streamline documentation and onboarding processes for educational and employment opportunities.
The security measures required for the evolution of successful verification tool methods are integral in safeguarding personal information. Blockchain technology presents a solution to help protect against security lapses, data breaches, cyber fraud, and other security challenges. Distributed ledger technologies, or blockchains, utilise the principles of decentralisation, consensus, and cryptography to ensure data cannot be tampered with once entered or uploaded. Since its first introduction in 2008, blockchain technology has enabled a sense of security that information is protected amongst people, educational facilities, employers, governments, and other authorities.
AI is also used extensively to improve existing verification processes. The evolution of AI is evident across multiple industries and plays a vital role in the simplification and verification process of document scanning and storage. In the healthcare sector, medical degrees, licenses, and other required documents are scanned and verified using AI technologies. Scanned versions are converted into text-based files, and the required verification of the details is possible while reducing the risk of human error. AI systems can also group data together and enhance the efficacy and quality of information storage.
Companies and organisations understand the importance of technological advances to maintain high standards within critical, high-risk sectors, including healthcare. The DataFlow Group, for example, leverages the above technologies and works alongside global governments, regulators, and public and private organisations to verify essential documents and aid in the employment process for healthcare professionals. The DataFlow Group’s PSV process, which utilises APIs, blockchain and AI, has verified over 4 million documents submitted across 2.5 million applications, empowered by the evolution of technology.
The evolution of verification tools in key sectors, including healthcare, is a necessary advancement. Since the pandemic, the need to be mobile, digitised and online has exponentially increased, along with the requirement for healthcare professionals. According to the World Population Review, the UAE holds top rank in GCC countries and places in the top 50 countries globally for the best healthcare system in 2022. Healthcare sector employment opportunities in the UAE and GCC continue to grow and the requirement for fast and accurate verification tools is needed more than ever to mitigate the potential risk of unqualified professionals employed in vital sectors. As technologies continue to advance, organisations, including the DataFlow Group, will stay at the forefront of emerging verification tools to provide an efficient, safe, and accurate service to support the global demand for the employment of verified quality healthcare professionals.