The platform is part of the broader Nordic Interoperability Project, which is co-funded by Nordic Innovation, where the goal is for citizens to receive personalized care wherever they go in the region. This means that you and I should be able to travel across the Nordics knowing that our health data will be available at the point of care, with the added benefit of cross-border insights.
“Today, if I want to be involved in my own health using health apps, I am forced into general app stores like Google Play or the Apple App Store in search of solutions to help me track my activity or monitor my health. I can find solutions that might look good or have good peer-to-peer reviews on likeability, but there is no public guidance on high or low-quality apps, nor do I know if it is possible to make use of my efforts and my collected data by my doctor or healthcare system”, says Anders Tunold-Hanssen, Project Manager of the Nordic Interoperability Project.
We are hoping for this platform to become a catalyst for our long-term goal of making the Nordics the world's most integrated health regionAnders Tunold-Hanssen, Nordic Interoperability Project
Watch the webinar!
Nordic Innovation and the Nordic Interoperability Project took the pulse on the uptake of digital health in the Nordics in a free webinar 23 June 2021.
One platform across the Nordics
Ultimately, the project supports the vision of Nordic Innovation's Health, Demography and Quality of Life program:
“In 2030, the Nordics will be the most sustainable and integrated health region in the world, providing the best possible personalized health care for all its citizens.”
Tunold-Hanssen points out that the Nordic countries have a lot in common in terms of legal requirements for digital solutions. Therefore, the platform is initiated on a Nordic scale.
“If we want to make the vision of 2030 become a reality, it makes sense to develop one common Nordic solution now, rather than five national solutions that need to merge at a later state. This will make the platform better from the start, while we simultaneously help the industry have their solution approved in five markets. This is especially helpful for the growth and innovation of small and medium-sized companies with scarce resources.”
Inspired by British solution
In the UK, the public health service NHS has assessed and accredited health apps over the past five years. High quality apps are placed in a separate accredited app store governed by the health authorities. Research shows that approximately 20 percent of health apps meet the expected criteria. This formed the basis for the desire to implement a similar concept in the Nordic region.
“You can find many high-quality apps that, for instance, monitor your sleep patterns or help out with your diabetes. But with all the available options, it is virtually impossible for citizens to know which applications to trust. With a common platform solution like the one in the UK, both health personnel and citizens are suddenly better equipped to navigate through the options. It enables individuals to be more involved in their own life and care”, says Tunold-Hanssen.
Important activity towards a long-term goal
Currently, the Nordic countries spend approximately 10% of their gross domestic product on sick care and only 0,3% on prevention. Nordic Innovation and its partners are working towards the goal of equal amounts of GDP being allocated to sick care and preventive health – the 5/5 aspiration. To make this happen, it is essential to enable more involvement of the individual in their own health and wellbeing. Unlocking the potential of digital health solutions is an important effort in this work.
The next step in the project is to start evaluating and accrediting digital health apps and solutions for the Nordic market and build a “master library” of approved health apps.
“We are hoping for this platform to become a catalyst for our long-term goal of making the Nordics the world's most integrated health region, while also inspiring people to become more involved in their own health”, says Tunold-Hanssen.