The Norwegian Board of Technology (NBT) has invited experts, laymen and affected parties to give innovative input to the health care sector.
Welfare technology was a virtually unknown term when NBT presented the survey “the Elderly of Tomorrow and New Technology” to the Norwegian government in 2009. The following years, the terms “care” and “technology” have been connected through a number of presentations and media coverage. In the aftermath, the government established an Innovation and Care Committee, with its chairman and two other members from the expert group of our project. NBT’s recommendations have been the basis of several propositions from the Committee.
The most important of these is the safety kit that offer all seniors customized healthcare technology in order to live safely at home as long as possible. In the white paper “Caring for Tomorrow” (2012–2013: 29), the government indicates that the development of safety kit will be prioritized. The Municipality of Baerum has already developed similar solutions for home-based care. Our report has also inspired the Care Lab at the University College of Bergen and the investments made in the Stavanger Region.
During spring 2010, NBT proposed a public health site for self-service and interaction. By summer 2011, the Minister of Health and Care Services launched www.helsenorge.no.
In October 2010, NBT faced members of Parliament to present the idea of online access to medical records. We argued that online access gives the patient the possibility of both transparency and control over her own health. We believe that online medical records will make life with an illness easier. The government followed up with the white paper “One Citizen – One Medical Record” (2012–2013: 9).
In our project “Patient 2.0”, we discuss the patient’s need for high-quality information online. Our recommendations on more transparency renewed public debate on healthcare quality in spring 2011.
All of these aspects were incorporated in the white paper “One Citizen – One Medical Record”, enacted by the Storting in March 2013. We quote:
- All patients will have access to their own medical records online through the website My Health.
- All citizens will be offered self-service solutions and online interaction with health care professionals.
- Information on health and care services, such as quality, wait time, variety of services and other patients’ experiences, will give citizens the opportunity to make good decisions regarding their own treatments.
- Citizens can access these services via the national health site Helsenorge.no.