Norway’s new technology gives patients more freedom

Norway introduces new health care technology that allows patients to spend less time at the hospital. User says they feel safer, freer and more independent.

Sarpsborg, Norway is leading the way for health care in the home.  The county has introduced several different products that patients can use at home – safety alarms, medicine dispensers that not only reminds them to take their medicine, but also alerts care staff if they don’t, and finally technology that allows patients to do different tests by themselves at home. They can for example take their own blood pressure and blood sugar level.

The new technology will be especially helpful for the elderly and for the chronically ill. Getting up early, taking the bus, waiting at the hospital to finally have your blood pressure taken could cause some stressful situations and it might even affect the results. But it’s also time consuming and for those that need regular care being able to do it at home as well as for health care staff, it will mean saving both time and energy.

Sarpsborg county launched the project in 2011 and have since then been documenting the results in different studies. Users says they have increased their safety and independence. They also say they feel they have more control over their disease. It has also given them more freedom, as they have more time, but also because of the mobile safety alarm that allows the user to leave the house and still feel safe. In the future, these alarms will also include motion sensors or fall alarms so someone that has fallen can be detected. They’re also planning technology for epilepsy sensors that detects how a person moves while sleeping.

The project has also shown to be a financial saving for hospitals and health care centrals. One prognosis shows that an average Norwegian municipality with 11 000 inhabitants can save 55 million Norwegian kronor by 2040.  The new technology reduces the time spent in hospital and the number of home visits and how long those visits take. For staff it also cuts time as they don’t need to go to the hospital to pick up keys for a patient’s house, but a program in their phone will be able to unlock patients doors.


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