10 statements about the future digital healthcare system

The future will inevitably come. The same cannot be said about progress. There is a huge potential for digital solutions to the future healthcare system. However, progress needs to be created in collaboration with end-users, health professionels and companies – and across sectors.

Data sharing, datastream and digitalisation between the patients and the health sector meet great attention in Denmark. In September 2017, a networking event in Welfare Tech set focus on the subject and how municipalities, who deliver care for elderly and people with special needs, hospitals, General Practitioners, and the society in general can work together to find new solutions to realise the huge potential for the use of digital data in future healthcare and homecare.

Below you will find 10 statements from the experts from the event: 

A revolution in the healthcare system – Please welcome the progressing time

1 The healthcare system, as we know it, is changing. There is an increasing pressure concerning the delivery of a healthcare system that meets the citizens’ demands. The will inevitably come, but the same cannot be said about progress. Everyone want to, and must be, included in their own process and technology makes it possible to tailor technologies to the individual patient. 

2. In the future, the healthcare system will offer more services, which can be available through different digital solutions. In the private homes of the citizens and in the public healthcare centres. The focal point is whether we can and should give access to sharing of data? Together we have to be ambitious and visionary. We must dare to include the digitalisation and knowledge sharing in order to secure the genuine healthcare system.

3. We can welcome the future and the progress and see it as a unique opportunity to define the future healthcare system. We must do things differently. We must do it in a reasonable, correct and deliberate way. We can share each other’s knowledge and experience to promote the healthcare system. Not everyone has to reinvent the wheel. Let us take part in each other’s solutions. 

Stephanie Lose, regional chairman in Region Syddanmark (Region of Southern Denmark)

Sharing of data

4. We are going to relate to data. The amount of data has steadily grown. What do we need all that data for? And what do we want to know about ourselves? There is a lot of scientific and personal considerations. We are talking about Big Data, but we cannot forget about the small data – the data we collect about ourselves. What are the considerations in connection to that? 

5. We are used to sharing of data on Facebook and Google – We do that without a second thought. But, as citizens we need to have confidence in sharing our healthcare data with the public sector. We have to develop technological solutions that are trustworthy to the citizen. The leaks previously seen, for example with social security numbers, makes the citizens feel unsafe. 

Stephanie Lose, regional chairman in Region Syddanmark (Region of Southern Denmark)

6. Big data can provide us with patterns, but it is the small data that provides insight. What we have today is registry data, but we need to have the mobile data (from the citizens and the patients) merged with the data from the healthcare system. The question is how we engage the citizens and how we provide the framework for sharing of data. When we discuss data we often discuss it in the light of danger. However, data is just knowledge about our whereabouts. Is it because we do not want anyone to see what we are doing? Is that perhaps the problem? 

Bogi Eliasen, Associated partner at the institute for Future Studies

Work with the implementation in practice – move beyond the pilot projects

7. Only 20% of solutions from pilot projects end up being implemented. We have worked with implementation in practice. It is hard work. All infrastructure such as technique, hardware and software, as well as securing of data protection must be in place. At the same time, we have to make sure that it is profitable to treat someone via a video call – with other words that it is economically beneficial and that there is support from the management. 

8. It is not very sexy to talk about courses, hardware and software, but it is necessary to understand all these things. Today you can create video calls for everyone. It is not technology for the sake of technology. It makes sense. There is a bigger purpose. Patients are anxious. When they miss a personal consultation, it is because they are anxious. That is the time when they need it the most. With video calls you can have conversations with patients who live far away. 

Claus Færch, Head of Telepsychiatric Centre in Region Syddanmark (Region of Southern Denmark)

9. One of the central and noticeable subjects at the seminar was that correlation in the healthcare system is key. The collaboration across different sectors is something that has been discussed for years, but it is still a huge challenge. However, digitalisation within the healthcare system cannot happen without collaboration across sectors. 

Jeannette Eis, senior consultant at Welfare Tech 

10. If we want to ensure the huge potential of digitalisation in the healthcare system the key word is joint organisation between the sectors. The economy should be shared between regions, hospitals and General Practitioners. So far, we have had a way too limited focus on the hospitals and not a holistic focus across sectors. Yes, technology stands as a potential for solving coherence issues. 

Morten Freil, CEO in Danish Patients

Supported by

Welfare Tech is​ co-financed by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and The European Regional Development Fund.

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