Transforming the face of community care

Technology is helping to bring healthcare to the homes of the ageing population in Finland and nursing is at the forefront of this community-based care.

With one of the oldest populations in Europe, Finland has a need for innovative solutions to respond to the healthcare needs of its elderly citizens.

The government’s national policy prioritises home care to encourage ageing people to live independently for as long as possible, but this can be difficult for those with declining functional ability.

“Providing services for older people more innovatively and effectively will help to slow down the increase in social and health care costs in the coming years,” says Nina Hynninen, vice-president of the Finnish Nurses Association.

Hynninen is a passionate advocate for the elderly, having completed her nursing science PhD dissertation on caring for people with dementia, and now serving as an executive director for a non-profit elderly care home.

“We need technological solutions which support the well-being, health, functional capacity and independent living of the ageing population,” Hynninen tells Mobihealthnews.

She is currently working on a building project, with the non-profit research company, Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), which includes ideas for tech solutions to help elderly people cope with living alone.

As many of this demographic lack digital skills or suffer from dementia, the project is looking towards easily accessible solutions.

“We are using discreet technology which can react if you go out of the door or fall down. We try to find technology, which is easy to use or works by itself, so you don’t have to push a button,” she says.

But although there are many solutions to enable people to stay in their own homes, Hynninen says the question is “Who will pay for and buy those solution from companies?”

She will be discussing these issues, at a session entitled ‘Doctors 2.0: A new agenda for doctors, nurses and caregivers’ at the forthcoming HIMSS & Health 2.0 European event in Helsinki.

The interactive forum for practicing health and social professionals will explore how technology has changed the way the care team operates.

“The care team can find critical information faster and more easily through electronic medical records and take advantage of video conferences for consultation. So much has changed in few years,” Hynninen says.

Finland recently adopted a national information system called Kanta, which includes electronic prescriptions, a patient data repository and an online system which allows patients to view their health information and order repeat prescriptions.

“I hope we can find solutions which make it possible for people to get equal social and health care services, regardless of whether they live in the city or in a remote area,” Hynninen concludes.

The HIMSS & Health 2.0 European conference will take place in Helsinki, Finland, 11-13 June. Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

Full coverage: HIMSS & Health 2.0 Europe 2019

Healthcare decision makers, patients, clinicians, nurses, life science professionals, innovators and many more are set to convene at the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Conference 2019 in Helsinki on 11-13 June.

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