eHealth services and digital treatment paths have come to stay
Head of Digital Health
Response effectively to a growing demand for health services without compromising on quality. The aim is to shift the focus to preventive health services for citizens. Services get digitalized everywhere, and citizens are expecting digital health services that are on the same level with digital services in other sectors. Existing data is intended to be utilized and it can be used to help create new services and develop proactive health care.
Health Village’s digital solutions make health services equally accessible to everyone, regardless of place and time. The services help in supporting treatment, rehabilitation and disease prevention. Digital solutions and operational development models enable the implementation and rapid scaling of proficient healthcare and social welfare services for various groups of patients. The workload of health professionals will be reduced as part of the care routines are automated, and cooperation and information exchange during the treatment process works efficiently.
Digital Health Village is a service entity, coordinated by HUS Helsinki University Hospital, shared with all university hospital districts in Finland. The site provides information, help and services to support the quality of life, preparing for treatment, rehabilitating and living with long-term illness. Reliable health information and services provided by healthcare professionals complement traditional hospital care.
The site consists of 32 different health-themed houses. My Path is a digital service channel for health and social care, where one can log in to find e.g. personal digital treatment paths, remote clinics and self-care programs open to all.
The Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District HUS is a consortium of 24 municipalities. Its mission is to provide specialist medical services to member municipalities and their more than 1.6 million inhabitants.www.digitalhealthvillage.com www.hus.fi/en
High-quality, professionally guided digital treatment paths function independently or as part of a planned treatment entity, for example, in surgical operations and the treatment of chronic diseases.
Routine work related to patient guidance is automated, and the picture of the patient’s situation is up-to-date. Multi-professional teamwork is easier with all having the same patient information.
Includes an eHealth Services development program and a technical platform that private and public service providers can use to build their own digital services cost-effectively.
Health Village’s digital solutions make health services equally accessible to everyone, regardless of place and time
Over the years, Health Village has developed from an information platform into a service that supports the interaction between patient and professional as well as the entire treatment process. The starting point for development is a good treatment experience for the patients - patients and patient organizations have been strongly involved in the development work.
The services are also widely used on mobile devices. Easy daily transactions can be better supported by, for example, fingerprint authentication and message notifications. The aim is that during 2021, all of HUS’s digital treatment paths will also be available as mobile applications.
Digital treatments already enable controlled home care for chronic diseases. In the future, for example, artificial intelligence can help support diabetes treatment. AI measures blood sugar, calculates insulins and dietary guidelines, and offers instructions for action to the patient. If there is something abnormal in the situation, the patient is invited to the reception.
“The fact is that during the next few years, fewer nurses will enter the market, while the population will age and the demand for health services will increase. The question is how to close this gap. We believe that the gap is reduced by using technology wisely. With the help of tech we can also bring a sense of security to be at home,” says Mikko Rotonen, HUS’s Director of IT Development.
Mikko Rotonen, IT-Development Director, HUS Data Administration
We want to develop different data-driven algorithms and the process of bringing them to different houses in the Health Village.
IT-Development Director, HUS Data Administration
The strategic goal of HUS is to produce customer-oriented digital transformation during 2020–2024. In 2020, remote visits accounted for 7.5 percent of all HUS reception visits, and in 2021 the target is 15 percent. Concerning digital treatment paths, the target is to get 20 percent of patients covered by services this year.
“Combining digital and in-person services can save the patient’s time, money and increase the quality of treatment in situations when, instead of a single conversation, the customer could watch, for instance, an instructional video as many times as needed. When the patient comes to the reception, both parties understand that it requires more than what could be done digitally, and thus the importance of interaction is emphasized,” says Visa Honkanen, Development Director at HUS.
The ongoing development of mobile services and bringing various device integrations and elements that anticipate the need for care into the Health Village will make the patient's treatment even more flexible and real-time. The starting point for the development is to build good support for the expansion of the Health Village ecosystem by enabling the integrations of other applications used by patients and professionals to digital treatment paths.
"More features will be added to the tools so that clinics can bring new technology and tools to patient processes," says Aki Puustjärvi, Development Manager at HUS Information Management.
Visa Honkanen, Development Director, HUS
Ideally, digitalization can bring high-speciality medical care services to patients quickly and over long distances.
Development Director, HUS
TietoEVRY has been an application and architecture development partner for Health Village since 2017. The next big steps in the development of Health Village services are service integration between primary health care, special medical care and social work/home care. The goal is that the services appear to the citizen as one entity and the transaction becomes seamless, regardless of the care organization. Thanks to the services, information flows efficiently also between multi-professional teams.
The work is done by utilizing agile development and service design. The foundation is based on a good dialogue between the clinics, HUS’s information management and TietoEVRY. Digital treatment paths need to match clinics’ vision of the patient's treatment, and the tools need to be user friendly so that clinics can use them by themselves.
“We haven’t built a ready-made diabetes path or a kidney path, but tools that help the clinics themselves to make treatment paths suitable for them. The collaborative environment is used by the clinics to actively create the clinical content” says Aki Puustjärvi.
In addition to the web platform and applications, Health Village includes an eHealth Services development program that supports service planning, implementation and digital transformation management. The internationally unique Health Village service can also be transferred and modified to benefit and fit the use and market needs outside Finland.
Aki Puustjärvi, Development Manager, HUS Data Administration
Let’s not just leave the development work to technology alone but discuss the process. What exactly is the new technology replacing? When new information technology is deployed it must be understood that the work process must also change.
Development Manager, HUS Data Administration