When it comes to eHealthcare services, Sweden leads the world
Do you need practical advice on a medical condition
Or maybe you want to compare health centers in your area and find out what other users think of them.
Either way, 1177 mina vårdkontakter, my health care contacts, is there to help. It’s a public service website supplying health care information to Swedish citizens – and it’s the first such digital doctor network in the world.
1177 : owned by all counties and regions
The website is jointly owned by all Sweden’s counties and healthcare regions, and is a resource that anyone can turn to when they need trustworthy, professional advice on care and illness, wherever they are in the country. It’s closely connected with the 1177 telephone information service, as both are based on the same medical database.
1177.se is a product of the Swedish National IT Strategy, first formulated in 2006, whose main purpose was to pave the way towards better health care.
This led to the Patient Data Act, which streamlined all hospitals’ patient record systems, as well as the infrastructure needed to securely log in to these systems.
Health care across borders
In early 2010, the National IT Strategy increased its municipal focus. Several new services were introduced, and Inera AB (formerly SVR), a software company jointly owned by the Swedish counties, was commissioned to implement them.
A further result of this initiative is the National Patient Overview (NPÖ), a new portal enabling doctors and medical staff to read patient records across municipal and county borders.
The doctors log in with the electronic SITHS Card to guarantee absolute secrecy when handling patient data. This will greatly enhance patient safety and make the staff’s job easier and less time-consuming. However, SITHS Card or not, the patient’s consent is still necessary before any doctor is able to access a patient’s history, says Lars Petter, a spokesperson for Inera AB.
Security and privacy brought by smart health care cards are speeding up the transition to paperless, electronic procedures and data exchanges, 3 formidable catalysts for the modernization of health care systems, as discussed in our February 2017 web dossier on universal health care.
But ther's more.
let's move from digital doctor to digital lifesaver.
Stockholm’s digital lifesavers
Another innovation is the SMSLivräddare (Text Message Lifesaver) project.
Every year, some 900 Stockholmers suffer heart failure when out of reach of a hospital. Most do not survive. In April 2010, the Södersjukhuset hospital and Karolinska Institutet introduced SMSLivräddare, where people in Stockholm with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge can use their skills to help.
SMSLivräddare is a unique project that uses GPS tracking to increase the chances of survival in the case of heart failure outside hospitals. When the emergency services receive an alarm about a possible heart failure, a member of the project will be directed to the distressed person via their mobile phone.
As of the end of 2015, about 14,000 "lifesavers" have signed up in the Stockhom area only, vividly demonstrating how technology can be used in ways that could never before have been imagined.