Previously, customers wanted to acquire CheckWare's digital tools to better prepare the clinician before meeting with the patient. Today, our customers are equally interested in finding out if the patient truly needs to attend a physical appointment at all.
The clinician's need has not changed: Healthcare personnel still need as much relevant information about a patient as possible to ask the right questions when they meet. In addition, the clinician needs to continuously follow up the effect of the treatment.
What is new, is the increasing flexibility in where and when patients receive their treatment and follow-up.
The development in Norway is a natural result of the government’s stated goal of moving more of the treatment to the patient’s home.
It seems logical to spend the time at your disposal on the patients who need it the most. If we, through digital home follow-up, can establish a system where we can avoid unnecessary physical attendance at the doctor’s office and hospitals operating at maximum capacity, we have come a long way.
In addition, patients can help themselves to a greater extent.
The best solution is not always chosen
By using digital technology in healthcare services, patients can benefit from greater flexibility, increased self-activity, a greater experience of achievement and a lower threshold for seeking help at an early stage.
Digital health services achieve the same effect as traditional health services, and more patients can receive follow-up without increased resources. This is documented both through eMestring (Guided psychological internet-based treatment in Norway) and user-controlled outpatient clinics.
Nevertheless, progress and modernization do not come from nothing and is never for free. To accelerate the use of digital health services, investments and facilitation are required to enable benefits also for the health sector.
If the health sector is to increase the use of digital health services, funding systems to make it financially profitable for hospitals must be in place!
When hospitals are reimbursed only for physical appointments, it is hard to argue that queues and waiting time can be reduced using digital solutions. It is almost a paradox how digital solutions can uncover who really needs an appointment, while hospitals are financially dependent on patients showing up on the premises.
My summer wish
Time and again, the benefits of digital health services for patients, next of kin, and health services are documented. The work we do in CheckWare is without doubt meaningful!
We also know that in a few years, we will have a shortage of healthcare personnel to take care of everyone who is ill. I therefore wish for a summer present: To speed up the introduction of funding systems to make it beneficial for the health sector to provide digital health services to the ones that really need it, the patients.
Only when this is established, the health sector can properly benefit from the digital health services that already exist, but that currently are offered only at certain locations, and to a small selection of patient groups. The increase in the use of digital health services has increased sharply but is yet only a drop in the ocean of potential that we are seeing.
All patients deserve that we work as hard as possible to get the closest possible fulfillment of their needs.
- Heidi Blengsli Aabel, CEO, CheckWare