Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional development impacts in the Nordic countries

Health care and social care are not only important aspects of the Nordic welfare state model. The development of those sectors also has an important impact on the regional development and sustainability
(economically, socially and environmentally) in the Nordic Region. The use of digital solutions in both sectors is increasing across all the Nordic countries. However, in relation to the ambitious goals set out in national digitalisation and eHealth strategies, digitalisation in health care and social care can be seen to have been developing at a relatively moderate pace.

This research is part of the Health care and care with distance-spanning solutions project initiated and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The aim of this research has been to explore the effects and potential benefits to regional development, and to address the various obstacles
facing digitalisation in health care and social care throughout the Region.
In addition to literature reviews of the different health care systems, digitalisation in the health care and social care sectors and how these
link to regional development, case studies have been conducted in one region and municipality in each of the Nordic Region’s five states (Sweden,
Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) and in two of the self-governing territories (the Faroe Islands and Greenland). These case studies include interviews with senior management, project leaders and health care and social care workers.

An accessibility analysis has also been conducted with a view to understanding how access to health care and social care can be improved by digital solutions in these sectors.