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Denmark - a frontrunner in telemedicine in Scandinavia

17-03-2016 News UK

A Swedish conference about welfare technology and health technology illustrated how Denmark is a pioneer when it comes to telemedicine in Scandinavia.

The Danish Agency for Digitisation participated in the Swedish conference “Mötesplats för välfärdsteknologi och e-hälsa” (Meeting place for welfare technology and eHealth) in Stockholm on February the 3rd and 4th 2016. The Agency gave a presentation of the Danish experiences with telemedicine and welfare technology. The primary theme of the conference was the Swedish municipalities and their work with welfare technology and eHealth.

Denmark has unique nationwide projects
The primary impression from the conference was that Denmark has a head start regarding both welfare technology and eHealth, including telemedicine, in com-parison with Sweden and Norway. Denmark is the only country in Scandinavia where national dissemination of telemedicine and welfare technology is currently in progress.

“The fact that we have a national dissemination project like telemedicine for patients with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is unique in Scandinavia and probably in the rest of the world,” Johan Hvitved from the Telemedicine Secretariat in the Danish Agency for Digitisation says and continues:

“It is perhaps especially suggestive in the light of the Norwegian and Swedish geography where distances between cities can be large – there are great opportunities to save both the citizens and the public sector much trouble in regards to transport.”

Cooperation between municipalities, regions and central government is crucial
It is especially the unique cooperation between municipalities, regions and the Danish central government which drives the progress in welfare technology and telemedicine. The cooperation is formalized in the Strategy for Digital Welfare 2013-2020, in which municipalities, regions and central government in agreement have set a common course for welfare technology and telemedicine in Denmark.

“At the conference it was obvious how the tradition of joint public cooperation between central government, municipalities and regions is not as developed in Norway and Sweden. This makes it harder to make a coordinated agreement of direction between the authorities.” Johan Hvitved says.

With nationwide dissemination of telemedicine underway in Denmark, it is easy to imagine a future demand for Danish experiences with telemedicine.