Collaboration project for more efficient digital healthcare2023-05-19
Complex societal challenges can only be solved through collaborative efforts of a large number of actors with varying expertise. The interdisciplinary research project DHINO, Digital Health Innovation, in which Karlstad University and Region Värmland cooperate, is taking on the challenge of increasing the digitalisation of the healthcare sector.
– Technology has the potential to improve quality of life, health, independence and community participation, as well as reduce healthcare costs, says Erik Wästlund, project leader and Associate Professor of Psychology at the Service Research Center. There is a huge potential in the meeting between the public sector, the industry and academia, which could lead to the development of new solutions as well as the creation of new job opportunities and regional growth.
Within DHINO, world-class research is conducted and then made available in order to benefit regions, municipalities and private citizens. The research focuses on three areas of healthcare: the Internet of Things (IoT) and health; elder care/comorbidity and the co-creation of health; data-driven innovation.
Via DHINO, seven research teams at Karlstad University come together to collaborate with public and private actors and deal with various challenges from their various perspectives.
- By utilising their varying perspectives and skill sets, several disciplines and research teams are taking on the challenge of realising a smoother and more efficient digitalised healthcare, says Erik Wästlund. Academia becomes an engine for growth by contributing expertise and skills supply, which in turn increases the attractiveness of the region.
In the next four years, needs inventories will be performed and partnership events will be held regularly. The needs inventories will focus on identifying any obstacles, barriers or issues related to the development and implementation of digital healthcare innovations, as well as identifying potential collaboration projects and approaches. During the partnership events, collaboration partners are invited to present good examples of how to work with digital healthcare innovation.
- Digital healthcare innovation provides significant benefits in terms of sustainability, since it increases the accessibility for various actors in the community as well for private citizens, and reduces the need for physical transportation and travel, says Erik Wästlund.
DHINO is a result of the smart specialisation efforts by Region Värmland and Karlstad University, focusing on digitalisation. The collaborative efforts of academia, private corporations and the public sector results in unique opportunities for knowledge-sharing between all actors who contribute to the skills supply in the region.
- In smart specialisation, we combine two things: meeting major societal challenges and developing entrepreneurship at the same time. Within the specialisation digital health innovation, we have great opportunities for this," says Anders Olsson, strategist for research and innovation at Region Värmland. "Multidisciplinary research at Karlstad University allows us to approach the problems from different angles. If we succeed, the initiatives will contribute to better health for the inhabitants, reduce healthcare costs and at the same time create tax revenues for the healthcare system through the growth of the companies that are developed. I therefore take a very positive view of the extensive collaboration between the research groups at Karlstad University and the cooperation they have with both the actors in the health and care sector and with innovative companies that can contribute new solutions.
The project is financed by Karlstad University, Region Värmland, the European Regional Development Fund and Vinnova throughout 2022–2025, for a sum of SEK 14 million. Research teams at the Service Research Center, Computer Science, Nursing, the Center for Gender Research, FoU Välfärd and the Centre for Research on the Mental Health and Life Circumstances of Children and Youth.
Erik Wästlund, Service Research Center