Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Denmark’s Ambitious Digital Healthcare Investment: Transforming Patient Care and Access

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The Danish Government, Danish Regions, and Municipalities (KL) have joined forces in a landmark agreement to allocate 500 million DKK between 2023 and 2028 to bolster digital healthcare in the home within the country’s healthcare system.

Firstly, there’s an ambitious goal to halve the number of hospital visits for patients grappling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and heart failure. This reduction will be realized through a transition to continuous digital monitoring at home, minimizing the need for physical check-ups and enabling virtual consultations.

Secondly, the agreement prioritizes expanding mental health services by doubling the availability of digital courses for individuals experiencing mental distress. Thirdly, a push for digital rehabilitation courses and virtual visits in municipal nursing services will be provided across all municipalities.

Fourthly, the promotion of video consultations within general practices is emphasized. There’s a concerted effort to gradually increase the proportion of total consultations conducted via video conferencing over the stipulated period.

Lastly, the agreement reaffirms support for ongoing healthcare trials. Specifically, the trial scheme for type 2 diabetes aims to offer sensor-based glucose monitoring to about 4,400 patients between 2024 and 2026. Additionally, up to 1,400 COPD patients will receive non-invasive ventilation (NIV) equipment at home in 2025.

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This funding initiative echoes recommendations from the Robustness Commission to embrace a “digital and technological first” approach in healthcare. The overarching principle is to extend digital contact options instead of solely relying on physical visits when it’s viable and beneficial for both the patient’s health and the healthcare system’s financial efficiency.

Sophie Løhde, Minister of the Interior and Health, champions the potential of digital home treatment. She highlights its capacity to offer greater flexibility and control to those dealing with chronic ailments like COPD and diabetes. The overarching aim is to prevent health deterioration, enhance quality of life, and ultimately reduce hospital admissions. The agreement signifies a collective push to leverage digital solutions more effectively and promptly, aiming to provide more citizens with the option to access and benefit from these home-based digital solutions.

 

Resource: Med Tech Reimbursement Consulting, December 27, 2023

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