Arendalsuka has become one of the most important arenas in Norway, with important debates on current themes in Norwegian society. CheckWare presented in 2 of the 1725 arrangements held in August 2022.
- Arendalsuka is an arena where it is important for us to be present and visible. We are invited into important discussions for the Norwegian health care service. We can contribute with our experience as market leader in a fast-growing sector. To share our views with other engaged professional on where the most current topics lie, is something we wish to do even more of in the near future, says VP Sales in CheckWare, Kim Mugaas.
Health is only surpassed by Climate and environment as the most discussed topic during Arendalsuka. This year it was estimated that 150 000 people participated as audience or participants, in a small town in the south of Norway, normally housing only 3000 inhabitants.
This is a new record for both participants and the audience, and a good illustration for physical meetings being fully restored after the pandemic.
Do we need a new e-health strategy?
This was the raised question when our CEO, Heidi Blengsli Aabel, was invited by EHiN, Norway’s largest e-health conference to their discussion.
The Norwegian Directorate of e-health, a sub-ordinate institution of the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, has a new e-health strategy for revision and feedback until October 1st this year. In this new strategy, the directorate wants to find a common ground and direction for digitalization in the sector. The prioritized goals are meant to support a sustainable and innovative health and care sector, with quality and coherence in the services.
Karl Vestli, the division director for strategy in the directorate, presented the strategy and which five goals they want the strategy to work towards:
Digital health and care services should enable citizens and close relatives to easily involve themselves in prevention, treatment and follow-up of their own and their loved ones’ health and proficiency.
Health personnel should have access to user friendly digital tools that integrate well, give good decision support, and supports their work processes.
The businesses and the health government should increase their data-based decisions. More data-based decisions could contribute to better use of resources, increased quality and innovation, and better health monitoring, readiness, and control of the health development in the population.
Digital cooperation should enable effective information flow between businesses so that updated health information is available when needed.
The ability to perform in the e-health field should be strengthened through increased cooperation and better use of methods like regulations and financing models.
Then Vestli joined a panel discussion where the CheckWare CEO also participated together with Deputy Chairman Silje Naustvik in the Norwegian Nurses Association, Managing Director Geir Prestegård in Accenture and Director for strategy and business development, Fredrik Syversen, in IKT-Norge.
When asked by moderator Nard Schreurs, CEO of EHiN, Heidi Blengsli Aabel confirmed that active participation from the patients and their loved ones is required to get a sustainable health service. She felt that the patients and their relatives are yet unused resources.
-The hospitals, which is the part of the health service I know best, are paid for patients to physically meet, and stay, at the hospital. When this incentive exists, it is hard to argue that they should procure digital solutions that reveals if the patients really need to attend an appointment, and that instead enables the patients to stay at home, she explained, and put emphasis to the point that the financing arrangements should be given a bigger focus in the new strategy.
How can small businesses grow in the Norwegian health industry?
The second seminar CheckWare was invited to, was arranged by Norwegian Smart Care Cluster. There it was stated that “The time is ripe to secure a good position in exporting Norwegian health industry. Today’s picture shows a forest of startups within health. For this forest to grow big and lush, we cannot go on as before.”
A closer and wider cooperation between the public sector and private sector was called for, and it was stated that our pioneers conquering the world will have a better chance when they have a solid home marked. In that respect, CheckWare was asked to give the speech initiating the discussion, where The Life Science Cluster, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Norway Health Tech, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster, and the parliamentary representative Karianne B. Bråthen from The Standing Committee on Business and Industry participated.
- We are constantly on our toes and concerned about which development phase CheckWare is in. We have tried to do the correct actions for the respective phases, develop the product, build organization and culture, have the correct financing, and, most of all, understand the customers’ needs, the maturity, and the mechanisms of the market at any time, Aabel said in her introductory speech. She gave three pieces of advice to politicians wanting to contribute to creating export income and jobs:
Increase the grants to Innovation Norway, which will go directly to the business sector and increase the Research Council's cooperation with the business sector. We at CheckWare would not have been able to grow so quickly without Innovation Norway and the Research Council!
Strengthen the investment in the clusters and bring about a good division of roles between the clusters and Innovation Norway. It is important that the clusters differentiate between startups and scaleups because there are completely different needs to be met.
Speed up the introduction of financing schemes that make it profitable for hospitals to offer digital healthcare services to patients. It benefits both health personnel, the health service, business, and society - but most of all, the patients!