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Norrbotten - an innovative ICT-region

Published: 24 April 2012

Norrbotten is the most sparsely populated region in the EU, with a population density of only 2.6 residents per square kilometre. Many inhabitants have to travel great distances to get access to primary care and hospitals. This has therefore created a need for health care with great availability, medical safety, quality of care, and productivity.

The use of information and communications technology, or ICT, has been seen as advantageous for the sick being cared for at home, their close relatives, and health care staff. ICT-based solutions in home health care improve availability and adapt health care to the individual’s personal needs, while the patient’s safety and comfort can be strengthened.

This has meant giving the development of ICT solutions within health care high priority, where challenges have been transformed into possibilities instead of obstacles.

Advanced infrastructure

Norrbotten is already a hotbed of solutions that bridge distances, and they’re making use of this position in e-health development.
There is an advanced ICT infrastructure in the region. Nine out of ten inhabitants have broadband access to the Internet. Most Swedes have a computer at home, a high degree of ICT knowledge, and a willingness to use existing cutting-edge technology or even try new solutions, which has created fertile ground for new ideas.

Advantages of ICT

- E-health solutions make it possible to reach everyone with health care, no matter where or when.

- Major investments are being made in new research and innovation projects around e-health to further improve health care systems and increase regional economic growth.

- E-health solutions are environmentally friendly, since they reduce trips connected with health care.

- They provide enhanced access to leading experts at lower costs.