conference · eHealth · Medical applications · Medical Records Online · National information structure

Some reflections on this year’s national eHealth day, part 1

Earlier this week I attended this year’s version of the national eHealth day in Stockholm. It was a really inspiring day with many interesting talks. I’m very happy that I decided to join the event. In this post I will just give some comments on the overall organization and in later posts I will dig deeper into some specific topics that were covered during the day.

Quite a few topics were handled during the different sessions and a common focus was the national vision for eHealth 2025, “In 2025, Sweden will be best in the world at using the opportunities offered by digitisation and eHealth to make it easier for people to achieve good and equal health and welfare, and to develop and strengthen their own resources for increased independence and participation in the life of society.” There were 12 presentations in total and some of the presentations also transitioned into panels. You can find the entire schedule as well as recordings of the different sessions here.

The day started out with general introductions about the state of eHealth development in some key areas in Sweden. The consensus seems to be that we have come a long way, but we can get even better when it comes to for example infrastructure on the national level and collaboration between all relevant stakeholders. Examples of eHealth initiatives that were brought up were: the national medication list, the continuous development of the national eHealth portal 1177 (intended to be the first contact point with care in a not so distant future) and an upcoming national digital vaccination register (about time!).

During most of the day after the introductory presentations some specific areas, where eHealth development has had a large impact, were discussed. Examples of areas were the Swedish social services, self-care, monitoring of patients in their homes and doctor’s visits online. It is very clear that eHealth development has had major effects on these areas both when it comes to need for infrastructure and changes of work processes.

Some topics on a more general level were also discussed, like for example data protection, standards for interoperability and international initiatives on the EU level. I found the discussion on international initiatives extra interesting – some countries have already implemented cross-country medication lists and health record summaries, and Sweden will join quite soon! I will write more about this in a separate post.

I think the overall organization was great, even though the audience could have been involved more (the interaction with the audience mainly consisted of two mentimeter questions). Both the coffee breaks and the lunch were all vegan and there was also an exhibition as well as network activities (moderated by an app!) during all breaks. I especially enjoyed a booth where good examples of eHealth implementations in Sweden were showcased through short videos.

Council · eHealth · National information structure

Just became member of the eHealth council at National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden!

Yesterday, it was confirmed that I’m now, after being nominated by Åsa Cajander, the representative for “Education” on the council for eHealth and national information structure (e-hälsorådet) at the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in Sweden! The board is a government agency under the Ministry of Health and Social affairs, with a wide range of tasks related to health, patient safety, etc. Read more about the board here. When it comes to eHealth the board’s responsibilities are related to interdisciplinary terminology and development/management of the national information structure. These are the areas where the e-health council should give the board guidance.

The eHealth council consists of representatives from several different areas, like:

The area I will represent is education – the plan is that national information structure should be a topic taught at universities later on. I really hope I will get the chance to make significant contributions in this role (as I do in all my research 😉 )! I also hope that I will be able to make use my own research here and of the fact that I’m actually a patient who has quite a lot of experience with the health care system in Sweden. A patient’s perspective could be valuable in such a council. Let’s see what I can bring to the table!  😀