To link welfare technology with patient records

Press release
8 minute read
The Værnes region is the first area in Norway to make use of a welfare technology solution that links directly with electronic patient records. As a result, the region's health and welfare services are now able to benefit from a comprehensive overview of individual patients.
The concept, known as the "Bo lenger hjemme" (Living longer at home) project, has been developed by Visma and Telenor. Parts of the solution have already been put into use on a smaller scale in a number of Norwegian municipalities. The Værnes region, including the Stjørdal and Selbu municipalities, is the first region to start using an integrated solution with the ability to link with patient records. The solution is initially being used in 11 homes.

"This concept allows us to enhance each individual's ability to look after themselves on a day-to-day basis despite suffering from an illness or reduced functional capacity. A great many people wish to live at home, and technological assistance of this type helps to increase security, safety and social interaction", explains Johan Arnt Elverum, Mayor of the Stjørdal municipality.

"Welfare technology and the ability to link solutions with patient records allows us to ensure that individuals receive the right help when they need it. At the same time, we are now in a better position to face the challenges posed by our ageing population and the increased demand for healthcare. Welfare technology is set to free up healthcare workers while also supplementing, rather than replacing, other key services", says Elverum.

Always up-to-date

Welfare technology is an umbrella term for various technical solutions that allow sick or elderly people to receive the care they need while still being able to live in their own homes. These solutions can take the form of different sensors that detect incidents such as falls, blood pressure and involuntary urination, or security alarms and GPS tracking. The solution in use in the Værnes region collects all the warning signals regarding a particular individual at a single location — in the electronic patient record.

"This gives healthcare professionals a means of accessing up-to-date patient information at any time via a mobile device or tablet computer. The warnings are also displayed on these devices automatically to ensure that patients can get the help they need", says Jan Ivar Borgersen, CEO of Visma Unique AS.

Welfare technology is one of Visma's key priorities and today over half of the municipalities use Visma electronic patient records and mobile solutions.

Rapid development

The healthcare sector is an important field for Telenor, and welfare technology plays a key role in this sector. "Telenor drives innovation with the help of its partners, cooperating with organisations that have the industry expertise, passion and ability to develop solutions based on the true requirements of the healthcare sector", explains Johan Ivarson, CEO of Telenor Objects.

"There are all sorts of different sensors available on the market today, and development occurs rapidly in this field. However, this is the first solution to allow all information to be collated and compared with the aim of identifying the patterns that need to be changed for each patient. Communication via telephone and mobile devices plays a pivotal role in the ability to collect this information", says Ivarson.

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The ageing population:

  • The number of Norwegians over the age of 67 is set to increase from 650,000 today to 1 million before 2030.

  • Norway currently spends around NOK 250 billion a year on the health and social sector. This amount is equivalent to approx. 12% of mainland Norway's GDP for a single year.

  • On average, a place in a nursing home costs NOK 850,000 per year. In comparison, expenditure for an individual who lives at home with help from the municipality amounts to around NOK 200,000.

  • Forecasts based on information from Statistics Norway predict a significant increase in the number of elderly people living in nursing homes if current trends continue; numbers are set to increase from around 43,000 today to around 65,000 in 2030.

  • Society could save a significant amount through the use of welfare technology: Savings of NOK 12–20 billion could be made in 2030 if 15–25% of people were to live at home for longer instead of moving into an institution. In turn, around 40,000 man-labour years would be freed up in the healthcare sector, which equates to around half of the expected shortfall for healthcare professionals in 20 years

(Source: NyAnalyse AS)

Welfare technology:

1. Warning and alarm sensors

  • Security alarms

  • Fall alarms

  • Movement sensors

  • Door alarms

  • Temperature sensors that issue warnings when the temperature in a room is too high or low

  • Water sensors that issue warnings when water is detected

  • Bed sensors that detect when the patient is in bed

  • GPS tracking specially adapted for people with dementia or who easily get lost

2. Health sensors

  • Weight monitoring

  • Blood pressure monitoring

  • Glucose monitoring

All of the equipment is capable of sending data from measurements, incidents and alarms. This data is then saved and forwarded to one or more relevant systems and alarm centres.

(Source: Telenor)


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