“The eHealth Award 2020 gives us an opportunity to recognize and showcase new innovations important not only to the Nordics, but also as possibilities for increased export of Nordic solutions,” says Rasmus Malmborg, senior Innovation Adviser at Nordic Innovation and new on the jury for the eHealth Award.
The award is open to healthtech startups in all Nordic countries, based on the vision that the Nordics should be the most sustainable and integrated health region in the world by 2030.
With an increasing elderly population, ehealth could help solving many of the challenges we are facing. So, what do we need to do today, to make the vision come true in ten years’ time?
“First and foremost, we need to shift the focus from ‘sick care’ to preventive health to a much larger extent. Instead of using 10 percent of the GDP on treatment and 0.3 percent on prevention, the aim should be that the Nordic countries use 5 percent of the GDP on prevention and 5 percent on treatment. Ehealth is really an enabler and fits well into this ambition,” says Rasmus Malmborg.
What can be done on a Nordic level?
Nordic Innovation works to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and competitiveness in Nordic business. One of the supported projects works to find solutions on how to bridge Nordic health data across borders and personal data for utilisation in the Nordic health ecosystems.
“All the Nordic countries have exceptionally good health data available, and it’s important to make it possible, not only for researchers but also for smaller companies working with innovation, to utilise the data. This must be done in a safe and secure manner,” says Rasmus Malmborg and mentions Finland as a frontrunner in allowing individuals to combine health data with those from their fitness tracker. A potential opportunity for a healthier lifestyle.
Why is it important to operate on a Nordic level?
“The Nordic countries have a lot of strengths in common, such as high trust in public services and governments and a high trust in individuals. The healthcare systems are very similar to one another and we are early adopters when it comes to technical solutions in our lives and our public systems. Last but not least, our combined population is 27 million people and we are the twelfth biggest economy in the world. It’s an important region if we stand together. And that certainly matter within the field of health.”
What are the main obstacles?
“There are legal barriers to use data across national borders. Today, there is no problem bringing your financial data with you between the Nordic countries, but you can’t bring your health data. A legal analysis is being carried out to investigate possibilities within current legislation, considering what may need to change. But the political will to act upon it, is equally important.”
Rasmus Malmborg has worked internationally within the health sector for many years and in places where access to healthcare is difficult.
“Ehealth and smart devices play a vital role here. That is one of the reasons I think ehealth is extremely interesting and I am very glad to be part of the jury for the eHealth Award. “
Facts about Nordic Innovation
Nordic Innovation is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and is a key factor in implementing the nordic cooperation program for business and innovation. The organisation supports projects and programs which contributes to fulfilling the goals in the cooperation program. The organisation has offices in Oslo and employs 21 persons from all the Nordic countries.
Nordic Innovation works to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and competitiveness in Nordic business and is following up on the Nordic Prime Minister’s vision to be the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030.