Quantitative follow-up of welfare technology implementation rate by Nordic municipalities
Welfare policy, Welfare Technology
More and more people in the Nordic countries are being afforded opportunities to use welfare technology. But how many individuals in the Nordic region have digital services? Many municipalities offer their residents personal alarms – for use indoors. However, GPS personal alarms, which can also be used outdoors, are not as readily available.
The project Quantitative Follow-up of Welfare Technology Implementation will attempt to answer questions to determine the rate at which Nordic municipalities are at implementing welfare technology.
Important questions addressed by the project include: How many of the Nordic region’s 27 million inhabitants have access to welfare technology? What is the rate of implementation with regard to these services? Does the implementation rate differ between urban and rural areas? Which of the Nordic countries have made the most progress and have the most users of the services?
In Sweden, the National Board of Health and Welfare recently published the report (in Swedish only) E-hälsa och välfärdsteknik i kommunerna 2020 – Uppföljning av utvecklingen inom e-hälsa och välfärdsteknik i kommunerna (Eng: e-Health and Welfare Technology in Municipalities 2020 – Follow-up of Developments in e-Health And Welfare Technology in Municipalities). The report is published annually.
Few alarms for outdoor use
The 2020 report reveals that more municipalities than before are offering GPS personal alarms. Nearly 68 percent of municipalities offer GPS alarms, 65 percent in elderly care and 45 percent in disability care. With a GPS personal alarm, individuals can alert homecare services or loved ones even when they are outside their home. It is also possible to use GPS coordinates to locate the alarm’s point of origin.
However, the same survey also shows that only 1,529 people in ordinary residences have GPS personal alarms. This can be compared to the more than 200,000 people in Sweden with indoor-only personal alarms. Data from the Norwegian Directorate of Health shows that progress is faster in Norway than elsewhere in the Nordic region, and that more Norwegians have access to GPS personal alarms.
To answer the questions above and to, with a high degree of quality-assurance, make comparisons on the rate of implementation in the Nordic municipalities, the project is based on the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare’s annual survey on e-health and welfare technology in municipalities. The initial results are expected to be presented in spring 2022. The intention is to carry out a follow-up for the 2022-2024 period as well.
Quantitative follow-up of the implementation rate in Nordic municipalities includes the following four services:
- Digital personal alarm – a digital personal alarm with active alarm function where users activate the alarm if necessary.
- Location technology/tracking – covers all types of both active and passive portable alarms with, for example, GPS function and active alarms with call function.
- Medicine dispensers – programmable medicine dispensers that remind the patient when it is time to take their medicine, distribute the medicine, and signal to the caregiver if there are deviations.
- Digital supervision – digital passive supervision, i.e. only supervisory visits, such as night supervision via camera or passive alarms via sensors.
In addition to national comparisons focusing on the four services, the project will produce key performance indicators which will enable the comparison of distribution and variation between municipalities within each Nordic country. The project will solely focus on ordinary residences – nursing homes and care homes will not be not included.