Our Industry

Trends in the Nordic IT Healthcare industry

The provision of healthcare in the Nordic countries is currently going through fundamental changes with increased focus on patients’ rights and individual freedom of choice. Typically, patients may now choose among vertically integrated healthcare providers for an increasing number of treatments and/or services.

However, despite an increasingly complex demand side (i.e. end users), the healthcare operations are typically de-fragmented and have only to a limited extent been integrated in terms of IT infrastructure and leverage of specialist competence.

Further, healthcare systems in the entire OECD area are facing a number of challenging trends that necessitates increased provision of healthcare services and stronger pressure for operational efficiency to cope with rising costs. Examples of those trends are:

  • Significant gains in life expectancy and an increasing share of the population over the age of 65
  • Steady growth in health spending across all OECD countries
  • Changing nature of risk factors to health, for example obesity
  • New technologies, devices, drugs, and personalized treatment options in the market resulting in an increased volume of data
  • Increase number of patients with Chronic Illnesses

In summary, the cost pressures, decrease of medical errors, increasing information intensiveness in treatments and improved IT solutions, support the analysts believes in a strong growth in healthcare IT spending the coming years.

How can Health IT support the current challenges?

The effective use of healthcare information technology can, used in the right way, be a primary lever for facing up to the challenges of today. Health IT offers a tremendous opportunity to support many high impact areas in healthcare delivery.

Here’s some ways it can help:

  • Enhanced consumer awareness and tracking of healthcare conditions: patient portals allow easy access of healthcare information to patients, while consumer health technologies allow effective use of consumer health devices and self-management software for consumers.
  • Increased focus on chronic condition management: complete patient records would enable physicians to access patient information integrated across healthcare providers. Business intelligence and analytics could be used to identify high risk patients and proactively manage care.
  • Reduced cost of hospitalization and re-admissions: cost tracking tools would enable organizations to clearly track true input costs and efficiencies, optimize resource utilization and reduce costs.
  • New cost effective healthcare delivery models created: The use of home monitoring and tracking applications could  reduce the need for hospitalization, while the use of new Internet video/audio capabilities could enable consumers and patients to increase access to physicians and nursing staff without need for visits or hospitalization.
  • The federal government is recognizing the positive impact of healthcare IT on managing and the reducing the cost of healthcare.

An early adopter

The Nordics is among the first adopters of the major cultural change called Health IT. The Nordic countries have the know-how and close to 20-year implementation expertise to manage this changeThis is underlined by the fact that:

  • Many local IT vendors support and develop solutions for all aspects of healthcare IT. Multinational vendors invest in healthcare solutions with local research labs.
  • More than 100 healthcare IT companies covering the entire spectrum of healthcare IT solutions.
  • Nordic is a superior beta-site for most local HIT companies, using the “early adapter” spirit of the local clinical community and the excellent IT infrastructure.

About E–Health Solutions & Services

E-Health is the next step in healthcare evolution. It will help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services plus open the door for new solutions that address global healthcare challenges.

Many applications are being developed in the ICT industry today to make healthcare systems function more effectively, such as EMR/EHRs, PACS/RIS, ePrescription, Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), Electronic Health Cards (EHCs), Clinical Decision Support, Business Analytics, healthcare Information Exchange.

Telemedicine and Telecare are making healthcare information ubiquitous by removing geographical boundaries and enabling the shift of treatments and procedures from inpatient to outpatient to home care. At the same time, the growing emphasis on early diagnostics and preventive medicine helps to control the soaring costs of healthcare services.

Mobile Health refers to the use of mobile devices such as smart phones, patient monitoring devices and other wireless devices, which together with biomarkers, drug delivery developments and sophisticated medical devices, are paving the way towards personalized medicine.

List of acronyms
HIS
Hospital Information System, manages a patient’s records at the hospital level
EMR
Electronic Medical Record
HIE
Healthcare Information Exchange, digitally shares patient data across multiple facilities within the enterprise
LIS
Laboratory Information System, digitally manages the lab results
PACS
Picture Archive Communication System, image management system
CPOE
Computerized Prescription Order Entry, digital ordering of tests inside hospitals
CIS
Clinical systems
ICU
Intensive Care Unit
PAS
Patient Administration System