Person checking his Apple watch. Photo: Luke Chesser

The Business Case shows huge challanges and potential benefits for the Nordics

The Nordic healthcare trend

A common trend across Nordic countries is rising healthcare expenditure linked with an aging population and increasing amounts of chronic illnesses and mental health issues. Besides the large annual toll and productivity loss because of diseases, the Nordic region spent over 160 billion EUR on healthcare in 2020.

The challenges towards 2040

By 2040, there will be over 29.5 million people in the Nordic region, which comprises five countries and three self-governing areas, of which some are in the EU, two are in EEA, and some are outside the EU regulatory framework. We project that the rapidly changing demography will cause the annual cost of healthcare to rise by 23.5 billion EUR, which is more than 70% of the annual cost of all inpatient healthcare in the entire Nordics in 2019.
The proportion of the population in non-working age to working age will rapidly increase so that in the coming years there are fewer people to support the Nordic welfare system. In addition, 900 000 full-time employees of productivity will be lost each year because of illnesses.

quote author

The Business Case shows some very important benefits and potentials for the Nordics, if the 2030 Health Demography and Quality of Life program vision is realized.
But it also shows that it takes time for the benefits to materialize, hence we need to start now!

– Rasmus Malmborg, Senior Innovation Adviser

The upsides of sharing

Succeeding in an integrated, cross-border sharing of Nordic health data is likely to result in a significant positive economic impact and can help slow the growth in healthcare expenditure through increased efficiency, improving the population health and at the same time, cause an expansion of the Nordic healthcare industry.
Sharing health data may enhance the early detection of diseases, reduce the risk of medical error, and improve patient outcomes. The results will be that we can have more people in jobs and improve the inclusiveness of both healthcare series and industry in rural areas.

Optimistic scenario

Through the scenarios and economic models, we have identified a significant potential for reduction in health care costs, thriving innovation ecosystems, and an increase in the quality of life across the Nordic region. In our most optimistic scenario, we estimate yearly savings of 120 billion EUR from improved quality of life and a lowered cost of providing health care. At the same time, the reduction in illnesses may enable the addition of over 100 000 full-time employees to the economy.

Substantial effort and change needed

Realizing the economic benefits of sharing Nordic health data will require substantial effort and change in both regulatory and health care environments. The transition towards cross-border data sharing is not primarily hampered by technology. Instead, the fundamental barriers relate to governance, local regulations and legal challenges, internal communication, and different perspectives on how innovative technology should be used and implemented.

In the report you can find the ten-point list of recommendations that will help the Nordics to succeed with unlocking the value potential within data and data-sharing.

Read the report here

Download the Business Case in PDF


Rasmus Malmborg - Senior Innovation Adviser

Rasmus Malmborg

Senior Innovation Adviser
Rasmus has extensive international experience in complex project management, predominantly within health care system development. Prior to joining Nordic Innovation, Rasmus has been with LHL International for nine years and worked the last four years as CEO.

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