Health care and care with distance-spanning technologies

The Nordic countries face similar challenges regarding an ageing population and depopulation of the rural areas. This poses challenges to the traditional health care and care systems. One way of dealing with these challenges is to take advantage of digitalization and distance spanning technologies.

The project Healthcare and Care with Distance-spanning Technologies (Vård och omsorg på distans, or VOPD) aims at supporting the development of distance spanning digital solutions in health care and care in the Nordic Region. It was initiated by the Swedish chairmanship program of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2018 and runs until 2020. The objective is to survey the use of digital technology in health care to display best practice and analyse regional development effects.

The following categories of distance solutions in health care and care are included in the survey:
• Remote treatment – health care treatment provided from distance (incl. telemedicine, treatment and consultation via online tools and self-treatment)
• Remote monitoring – monitoring from distance (incl. sensors, cameras, reminders and data collection used mainly in social care)
• Remote meetings – meetings from distance (incl. meetings between professionals and those between citizens and professionals)
• New digital services for healthcare and social care. This category involves finding new innovative solutions.

Nordregio’s role in the project is to analyse the use distance spanning technology in health care and care from a regional development perspective. Accessibility, rural perspectives and cross-border perspectives will be considered in particular.

The Centre for Rural Medicine in the Swedish region of Västerbotten is leading the project, and Nordic Welfare Center and Nordregio are partners.

Healthcare and care with distance – What are the challenges regarding demographic development