The Municipality of Lund in southern Sweden launched digital home care service during the spring of 2023. The service model has been planned with Oiva Health experts from the beginning and experiences are very promising.
In the past years digital home care has become a prominent part of the home care service in Finland. Similar challenges are met within home care also in Sweden as more elderly people are needing support at home and home care resources are limited. To assure high-quality home care service also in the coming decades, municipality of Lund decided to implement digital home care with Oiva Health.
“Lund municipality wanted to start offering digital care to continue to give everyone the opportunity to have a safe everyday life while retaining their independence. The customers will also have the opportunity to influence to a greater extent how their home care efforts are to be carried out.”, tells Patrik Cronqvist, project manager of digital home care in Lund.
Digital home care is a service model including secure video communication between professionals, home care customers and their relatives. The customers are provided with a tablet device and an easy-to-use solution by which they can communicate with professionals and relatives, even without touching the device.
Lund is the first municipality in Sweden to launch this kind of digital home care service. The goal with Lund’s digital care is to support elderly people in their everyday lives through digital solutions and thereby free home care resources to the customers who need them the most.
In Lund the applicability of digital care regarding different types of home care tasks has been evaluated. “At first, we thought that tasks that could be offered would be, for example, supervision before and after showering or walking, but also simpler reminders or to check that everything’s good. We have tried all of them, but over time we have realized that to feel safe and self-dependent is the most important thing for the elderly people and that can be supported with a “checking-in”, for example in the morning to see that you have gotten up and feel good. We want to continue to test different types of tasks when it’s appropriate.”, Cronqvist explains.
There are significant differences between the home care services of Finland and Sweden. The service models proved adequate in Finnish home come are evaluated with Lund’s home care experts and good practices are adjusted to fit the home care service in Sweden.
“We believe that digital care fits into the Swedish home care service well, however, we have a lot of work ahead of us as a change is also required in the entire society. Even those of us who work with home care need to change our mindset and routines so that we all think digital first. Along the way, we have encountered some skeptical opinions as they are worried that our elderly will be more isolated and lose perhaps the only physical contact they have. Although, those who need and want physical help will continue to receive this, we also see the possibility that our digital care service could expand the users’ social networks.”, Cronqvist describes.
The potential of digital care in Lund is remarkable. “In the future, I definitely see digital home care as a large part of the care-giving help in Lund. The physical help will continue to be where it is needed while we will be able to offer safety in everyday life to everyone who needs it. We will hopefully also be able to offer more digital solutions that can help us in meeting the obstacles we have in front of us while still providing good quality care for Lunds elderly on their terms.”, Cronqvist explains.
Lund University will carry out research on digital home care in Lund during the coming three years. The research is focusing on the effects of digital home care on the ones involved, including customer and service provider point of view. The results will give valuable insight into the experiences regarding digital home care in Lund.
Virtual Care – Development Manager, Oiva Health Oy
Project manager of digital home care in Lund, Sweden