Systematic digitizing of the Swedish healthcare system using existing technology can reduce healthcare costs by billions, according to a recent report from consulting company McKinsey. By reducing costs, Sweden could save a total of 180 billion Swedish kronor (US$ 20 billion) by 2025. The report also states that increased use of technology can improve healthcare quality and quality standards for both patients and staff.

According to the report, digital solutions and the new work processes it enables can create a more suitable healthcare environment for patients. This can be achieved by improving the individuals’ accessibility and awareness, thus raising patients influence on their own health and treatments. However, this development is only achievable if the price development of the past decade, according to which healthcare costs have increased faster than GDP, is successfully slowed down.

By systematically applying existing technology and digital solutions, the report concludes that each healthcare unit in the 14 studied areas has potential to cut costs with up to 25 percent within the next decade. This equals total gross savings of up to US$ 20 billion by 2025, which is the last year studied, compared to a scenario without cost cuts.

Despite the fact that the report is based on existing technology, which can be improved by 2025, the writers point out that to fully obtain the potential savings, vigorous efforts have to be made. This includes extensive investment and structural changes. According to McKinsey, prioritized areas should be the introduction of integrated medical records, systems for online consultation and the surveillance of elderly patients and individuals with chronical diseases. 

The report is named “Värdet av digital teknik i den svenska vården”, and it can be downloaded in Swedish from McKinsey’s website HERE.