Jonathan Ilicki moderated the conversation between Sylf’s chairman Madeleine Liljegren, Daniel Forslund, new in the role of development manager for digitization at Vårdföretagarna and Tobias Perdahl, vice president and medical director at Platform24.
The demographic development leads to an increased need for care, more people are living longer with lifelong illness and the healthcare system is grappling with major staffing challenges. The panel emphasized that this, combined with the large retirements that lie in the near future and the major bottlenecks that exist in getting young doctors through to qualified specialists, means that healthcare is facing an equation that does not add up. What is required is that a large part of today’s processes be automated.
In order for our healthcare system to continue to function in the future, the panel believes that it is crucial to make better use of technology to do more and take care of more people, without expanding the cost base from which this is done, or further increasing the pressure on healthcare workers. Automation and smarter technical solutions are a prerequisite for coping with the fundamental challenges of healthcare, and if nothing else, necessity is the driving force required for change.
The panel’s picture of what healthcare will look like in 2030 can be summed up as that digitization will have led to increased patient power, and treatments and various contacts with healthcare will be more individualized. Through self-monitoring, the patient will have a more active role. Integrations with record systems and between different levels will flow more seamlessly and we will see more international contacts about patients. The technology will help reduce administration and strengthen the role of healthcare professionals, allowing doctors and other healthcare professionals to focus on the core task.
A large part of the discussion was about how we get there.
The development of technology, and technical obstacles, are one part, but equally important are incentives, governance, compensation models, changes in the law, cultural issues and working methods.
The profession needs to be involved in the development and there is a need for systematic more training and time set aside for operational development to enable real change for all clinically active.
A concrete example is how today’s challenges with reimbursement systems make it difficult to roll out several initiatives, where chat and RPM, Remote Patient Monitoring, often run counter to today’s forms of reimbursement. Another example is the steering. As long as you focus on phone accessibility, it is difficult to drive a digital transformation. Key figures are needed for digital accessibility and a compensation that takes account of this. It is difficult to get where you want and need if the steering is pointing in a different direction.
In the area of incentives, the panel highlighted the KHZG (Hospital Future Act) from Germany, a kind of co-financing of investments in digital solutions in the form of government investment support, with the intention of contributing to a faster and more efficient digitization of the German healthcare system as an interesting example to enable the fundamental journey that the healthcare system needs to make.
The discussion was intense, the summary short.
This was the first of a series of talks with experts in the field. If the digitization of healthcare is a topic that interests you, we would like to advise you about our newsletter and to keep your eyes open for upcoming webinars and seminars in the field.