The health and care sectors in the Nordics are digitalizing at high speed in order to meet the challenges of an aging population and implementing new technologies in health and care. The Nordic countries are globally in front of digitalizing their societies and are actively looking for new technologies to benefit their citizens. The governments of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have on national levels published ambitious digital healthcare plans to transform their public health care systems, which also outlines their needs for the coming years. The health and social care systems in the Nordics have many similarities with the NHS system in the UK, such as funding structures and decentralisation. In the Nordic countries the healthcare systems are to a high degree publicly funded with between 75-85% funded through taxes, these systems are at a large extent decentralised with regional and local structures (municipalities) responsible for different aspects of citizen care. Spending on health care the EU average except for Finland which is slightly below, but healthcare spend per capita is significantly higher in all the Nordic countries compared to the UK. Much of the infrastructure to enable digital solutions with health and social care is already in place such as Electronic Health Records (EHR) which has 100% coverage as well as e-prescriptions. Digital maturity in the population is high and personal identification numbers have been in place for decades. With the infrastructure in place, the government’s focus on digitalisation and the relatively high spending creates great test beds and opportunities for Scottish companies selling into government. Sofia Noras, Trade Specialist, Scottish Development International based in our Copenhagen office recently hosted a webinar outlining the opportunities in the Nordics, you can click here to watch the recording.
From 2nd-6th March 2020 Scottish technology companies will have the opportunity to participate in a week long digital health trade mission to the Nordics with Scottish Development International, which will include visits to Copenhagen (Monday to Wednesday) and Helsinki (Wednesday to Friday). The trip will include presentations, visits and meetings with the main corporate and public players within in the health and care systems here. We are keen to encourage technology companies with solutions proven with a variety of customers here that could sell into health systems in the Nordics. Here are more details on the specific tech needs for each country:
Denmark has had several digital health strategies and the most recent one is “A Coherent and Trustworthy Health network for All – Digital Health Strategy 2018/2022”. Despite the strong regional independence on the health care area there is a strong national support to implement digital technologies in all aspect of the society including health care. The Danish strategy has five main areas of focus:
1. Patient as an active partner (insights for the patient into their illness, including data, and flexible interaction with the health system, also from home)
2. Knowledge on time (providing the health care employees with easy, timely and secure access to relevant knowledge)
3. Prevention (prevention of illness in the first place. The health system should meet patients earlier, in a more targeted way)
4. Trustworthy and secure data (It is crucial for patients to trust the health system to keep their health data secure)
5. Progress and common building blocks (Refer to new technology; including testing new ways to roll out common solutions and developing a common digital infrastructure that links IT systems together)
Finland is globally in front in this field and implemented the strategy “Information to support well-being and service renewal, eHealth and eSocial strategy” for the period 2017-2020. Finland has chosen to have a strong national influence on the implementation and has resulted in legislative changes to enable implementation of digital health. The national system of MyKanta (www.kanta.fi) enables every citizen to read their journals, communicate with health care professionals, order prescriptions and even input lifestyle and health data. In April 2019 Finland was the first country to allow secondary use of health and social data which is also compliant with the EU GDPR regulations. Finland also has a very strong industry capability and leverage. Priorities for Finland are:
• Citizens as Service Users (Implementation of self-management and online services)
• Professionals (Smart systems for capable users)
• Service System (Effective utilisation of limited resources)
• Refinement of information (Knowledge-based management)
• Steering and cooperation in Information Management
• Infostructure (Ensuring a solid foundation)
Where possible, SDI will also schedule time for you to have your own one to one meetings. Prior to the mission itself, there will be a pre-mission event on how companies can position and prepare themselves appropriately for the Nordic healthcare markets. There will be no charge for a company to attend the mission, and depending on prior support they will review potential financial support towards travel and accommodation costs on an individual company basis. Please let Nicola Reynolds @ Scottish Development International know if you wish to talk through the mission. The deadline for the applications is Friday 31st January 2020.