New technology streamlines tomorrow's healthcare

TeliaSonera introduced the ground-breaking area eHealth which will be launched on the Swedish market later on during the spring. The care-taker is at center of an eco-system with clear benefits for all parties involved.

Unnecessary medications can be avoided, you can be cared for at home and you would have a better quality of life by grow old safely in your home at the same time as your relatives are given the opportunity support.

“Sweden and several other countries are facing major challenges in coming years as the growing percentage of elderly will require more healthcare and social care resources. New technology will be a key factor to meet challenges that society will face,” believes Niklas Sundler at Telia, who can see already now a greater need for IT support in healthcare and social care in Sweden.

“There is considerable interest from Swedish municipalities and county councils, particularly in terms of finding functional and more easy-to-use digital services that will not only simplify healthcare but also make things easier for the patients and their relatives.”

Reduce work load
Telia is now focusing on establishing its Telia Healthcare platform as part of the solution for the challenges facing the health and wellness industry. The vision is to create closeness with healthcare and increase the quality of life for healthcare recipients by using the proper technology. The heart of the platform – and the first service to be launched - is HomeCare, which was rolled out in the middle of last year. The HomeCare system consists of a box that is placed in the home and that via a wireless network can receive information from sensors. These sensors show how the healthcare recipient is feeling and the box communicates this information to involved parties. Examples of information that can be communicated are weight, blood pressure and oxygen levels in the blood. 

“HomeCare is a very useable tool for healthcare providers in that they are aided in keeping an eye on persons without needing extra supervision. This means that Home Care, for example, creates conditions for avoiding accidents by identifying changes and deviations at an early stage,” says Niklas Sundler, who is responsible for the initiative at Telia. 
“Quite simply, it is about being able to offer more flexible and more preventive care and give healthcare recipients the possibility to continue living at home. At the same time, it facilitates the work of healthcare personnel and creates conditions for providing more care for the same amount of money, which benefits both the healthcare recipient and the healthcare provider.

Does not replace personal contact
Niklas Sundler emphasizes that Home Care is a complement to, and not a replacement for, personal contact. He notes that all of the information belongs to the person who owns the box. If relatives or healthcare personnel have been approved to view the information, they are able, for example, to raise an alarm if the person is not moving during certain hours or if the outside door opens in the middle of the night.
“It is incredibly important that the healthcare recipient's integrity is not compromised and that we take their concerns seriously, if any arise. Security is knowing that help is available when it is needed, and the box means that the patient can feel safer.”

Successful test in Uppsala
Home Care is now being tested in part via a pilot project together with the county government in Uppsala and six university hospitals throughout Sweden. The tests include both the healthcare provider and the healthcare recipient.

“We have received a lot of good results from the tests we conducted, and a comprehensive transfer of experiences means that the country government and healthcare recipients can contribute to the development of the services,” ends Niklas Sundler.