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A behind-the-scenes look into the Danish health IT market

EHTEL launched a new series of webinars in 2023. The series focuses on what's trending today and what are the hot topics for EHTEL's own members. On 23 November 2023  EHTEL explored Denmark's own strategy for innovation. This members and invitees-only webinar, in the EHTEL Imagining 2029 Trends in local markets series, attracted over 25 attendees (60% of registrants were EHTEL members) who came from several different European countries. Attendees’ geographic coverage included Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, North Macedonia, and Slovakia; Nordic/Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; and various parts of the United Kingdom (e.g., Scotland and Wales).

👀 Watch the video below and download the presentations.

Background

Since the early 1990s, Denmark has continuously digitalised the entire public sector, including the health sector. This initiative has had many benefits for citizens, patients, and healthcare professionals as the country’s level of digitalisation and use of health IT is extensive and covers all the sectors in the health system.

Technology is developing rapidly, however. Now Denmark is on the threshold of fundamental changes that can have significance for the whole IT sector and market.

At the service level, in Denmark, the use of technology as a support tool and means of delivering care, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention, is advanced. One area in which the possibilities has been used and implemented with great success is mental health.

Denmark’s health IT market is mindful of its unique opportunities, local conditions, and potential future paradigm shifts.

Speakers

The moderator and speakers on 23 November 2023 were:

Janne Rasmussen, Chief Consultant, MedCom

Claus Duedal Pedersen, Head of Unit, sundhed.dk

Thomas Lambertsen Binzer, Head of Development & Implementation, Center for Digital Psychiatry

The speakers provided core insights into the three areas of innovation. These included Danish ways of accessing, governing, entering the market, and standardising IT/digital health, as well as all the latest on how good mental health and well-being is being handled in the country.  The tasks provided real-life examples of health IT innovation and implementation. All three speakers highlighted what are the next challenges and projects

medcom slide

Janne Rasmussen and Claus Duedal Pedersen  jointly set the scene and outlined the key building blocks and conditions of the Danish health care sector. They focused on the mutually complementary work of MedCom and sundhed.dk. They covered the underpinning Danish “engine room”. Main topics included infrastructure, interoperability, standardisation, actors, and market conditions – particularly in respect of data exchange and access to health information for both health professionals and citizens.

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A useful tabular presentation showed how IT procurement takes place in Denmark through the free market, public tenders, and public-private development or research projects. Both bottom-up and top-down approaches are used. Other ongoing initiatives will set the course for further digitalisation and the future in health. They  are AI modelling, national telehealth and telemedicine service provision, further development and implementation of apps - including quality review as well as an enhanced messaging and data sharing infrastructure. 

 

 

As a practical case, Thomas Lambertsen Binzer offered a unique insight into the Danish journey around mental health innovation. Technically, he showed how support for people with depression is provided by a system called PERSONAE. He also outlined how virtual reality can help people with mental health challenges.

PPT 8 ThomasHe focused on how, with an innovative and co-creative approach, the Danes have enabled a solid alternative and supplement to traditional mental health services. This has taken place while working closely with users, healthcare professionals, and developers. Four step-by-step approaches provide help to people with mental health conditions. So too, patients and therapists can be mutually involved in tackling psychological challenges: they liaise through apps, online programs, virtual reality, video consultations, and real-life face-to-face consultations. 

 

 

Outcomes

As a result, participants:

  • Got an overview of the Danish health IT landscape.
  • Understood the national conditions and opportunities– current and future.
  • Learned from Denmark’s 30+ years’ experiences and what that has taught the country.
  • Witnessed how innovation and technology have transformed mental health services.
  • Found out what are the next challenges and projects

Discussion and dialogue: The webinar moderator opened the floor to comments, questions and answers at several points in the presentation. Several main discussion items featured the importance of patient pathways, market approaches especially to health IT procurement, and the ways in which artificial intelligence could (or should or should not) be used to support patients. Participants were undoubtedly able to seek out potential collaboration opportunities  that matched with their own home country (or region).

Other sources of information

EHTEL members and friends interested in these innovation and implementation topics were able, in addition, to attend various other November 2023 presentations. They included Nordic-related presentations, and mental health-related presentations, at EHTEL’s 2023 annual Symposium on 29 November 2023.

 

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