This website is part of a nordic priority project entitled Healthcare and care through distance-spanning solutions, 2018–2020 (VOPD). The project is intended to improve the Nordic population’s accessibility to good healthcare and social care, wherever they live, and to create the conditions for development and growth throughout the country, not just around our major cities.
About the project
With an ageing population and sparsely populated areas throughout the Nordic region, digitalisation and remote solutions are important prerequisites for maintaining the quality of the Nordic welfare model. The need for distance-spanning solutions for healthcare and social care will increase as regions and municipalities in the Nordic region’s sparsely populated areas often have strained economies.
The project Healthcare and care through distance-spanning solutions, 2018–2020 (VOPD) was initiated as part of Sweden’s Presidency Programme for the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2018, An inclusive, innovative and safe Nordic region.
The description of the assignment from the Government Offices of Sweden provides the following background to the priority project:
“All geographical areas are affected by a number of challenges such as demographics, service, housing, infrastructure, attractiveness, education and employment. It is important to take advantage of the potential that exists in the Nordic countries and to combat increased regional imbalance, as well as to promote economic growth, population development and service. There is a need for innovative service solutions and models to address demographic challenges based on the different conditions affecting regions and communities, particularly in rural areas. New ways of delivering welfare services is one approach. There are good opportunities for joint learning in this area, at a national, regional and local level. The focus is on the benefit to the Nordic region.”
Three main blocks
The main project consist of three main blocks:
- Mapping of distance-spanning solutions applied in the Nordic municipalities and regions.
- Identifying tools to support implementation of distance-spanning solutions in the Nordic municipalities and regions.
- Through the calls identify the Nordic municipalities and regions to provide support in their implementation of distance-spanning solutions. Tools identified in block 2 will be applied to provide support.
The project expects to run two calls during the third block and between the calls it will assess the tools applied to support implementation of solutions. The tools will be developed and fine-tuned based on the outcome of the assessment. The ambition is to sharpen the tools, to provide higher quality and more efficient support for implementation of the new distance-spanning technologies for healthcare and social care.
The project is managed by the Centre for Rural Medicine – Region Västerbotten as the project Lead Partner with the responsibility of overall project coordination and specific activities towards the target group regions. Nordic Welfare Centre has the responsibility of specific activities towards the target group municipalities and their social service departments. The project focuses on developing the use of distance-spanning technologies by citizens in rural areas, which are scalable for use in larger regions and cities.
The Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat has also made the following additional investments: one project which specifically looks into the "Impact of competence provision and organisation of healthcare and social care services" under the lead of the Centre for Rural Medicine – Region Västerbotten. The other project "Bridging the Knowledge Gap between Distance Health & Social Care Solutions and Environmental Impacts: Via the Lens of SDG" under the lead of Stockholm Environment Institute. Both these projects deliver essential bricks connected to sustianbility perspective of digital transformation within healthcare and social care.
The subproject ”ePrescriptions across country borders” through The Swedish eHealth Agency will implement 2-3 pilots with the exchange of e-recipes across country borders involving the Nordic countries.
Nordregio is exploring the effects, obstacles, and potentials of applying digital solutions in healthcare and social care to regional development by making case studies in regions and municipalities in the Nordic countries. Nordregio is also conducting an in-depth study on accessibility to healthcare and welfare facilities.
In parallel to the Healthcare and care with distance-spanning solutions project, Nordregio is also responsible for Special edition to the State of the Nordic Region Report on Health, Wellbeing and Digitalisation.