Welfare technology is going to play a central role in tomorrow’s healthcare. The seniors of the future, are the young people of today; They will not accept anything else.
Halden municipality is the first to take advantage of eSmart Systems’ Connected Health solution. Using Connected Health to establish Digital Short-Term Departments (VKA), patients are admitted directly into their own homes, equipped with digital security alarms and tablets to enable direct communication with nurses and health care workers.
The first patients of VKAs in Halden, could be welcomed on November 1st 2016, initially as a one-year innovation project. By taking advantage of new technology to admit some patient groups directly to their own homes instead of a traditional and costly short-term department in a municipal institution, the municipality avoids institutional costs of 1,2 million NOK per patient per year. In advance, the patients receive care when needed while living in their own homes.
Not only does Halden municipality benefit economically; The users of public health services also experience a new level of safety, freedom and quality of life while dependent on health care - without municipal employees ever compromising the lives and wellbeing of their patients.
The next phases of the new services might include the use of Machine Learning to collect information about patients and their surroundings. The public caretakers then have the opportunity to work preventive and predictive, instead only reactive. An example is when inhabitants with brittle bones and low blood pressure receive messages on iced roads and advice to stay inside – to prevent hip fractures and other injuries, saving the user major strains, and the municipality and health service between 500.000 and 700.000 NOK.
The numbers of patients and elderly in need of public health services is constantly increasing. To quote Hilde C. Bjørnland, professor at the Institutt for samfunnsøkonomi, Handelshøyskolen BI: «In a few decades, half of us will be living in elderly homes, and the other half will be working there…”
Admittance to Virtual Short Term Departments for patients who have been discharged from the hospital but are still in need of public healthcare is an example of using technology and innovation to establish sustainable services within the health care sector.
To Halden Municipality, it has always been important to keep several things in mind at the same time. Therefore, they have been concerned that the platform they choose, can be used for more than health care services. One of the involved in the project in Halden Municipality, Martin Vik, says: “We cannot exclude ¼ of our inhabitants in our Smart City efforts. That`s why we include health care services in our Smart City solution”. Utilizing different resources in a city infrastructure may help a municipality to gain valuable insights on the inhabitants' activity and well-being. Some examples are air quality, usage of water and electricity, data measures through wearable gadgets and so on.
Our system delivers intelligence and analysis of the existing infrastructure in a municipality or region and is vendor independent with a scalable and open architecture - that can ultimately be connected to any device in all parts of society. This, also containing Connected Health, is a part of our solution called Connected City.
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