Challenges, trends, adaptions, and keys to success

Several factors drive the change in healthcare, including demographic shifts, digitalization, and more value-based care. The availability of new digital technologies, plus new drugs and increased expectations from customers/patients, is affecting healthcare systems globally. 

Vertical is an innovation consultancy firm providing services to companies and organizations throughout the healthcare ecosystem. Kenneth Salonius, CEO and co-founder, was one of the speakers at a seminar arranged by Stockholm Science City during the autumn. 

From your point of view, what are the major challenges facing Nordic healthcare systems in this changing environment? 

– I would like to mention seven major challenges here: 

  1. Aging population/demographics play against our healthcare models, which were established in a different era. 
  2. Finding balance and building stronger patient flows between social and healthcare services. 
  3. Creating functional incentives for the transition to preventive care models. 
  4. Effective integration of digital technologies as a solution to e.g., resource challenges, instead of nice-to-have add-ons. 
  5. Regulation enabling the effective use of digital technologies in healthcare.  
  6. Lack of sharing of best practices and adaptation of models that have been proven to work elsewhere. 
  7. Outdated leadership practices. 

What trends can be seen regarding changes in the Nordic healthcare systems?  

– The aging population combined with rising healthcare expenditures are straining the systems. Improving healthcare, new drugs, and new treatments result in people living longer and healthier than before. However, the other side of the coin is the tremendous cost to society. This gives discussions on change towards an insurance-based system which might lead to even higher costs, says Kenneth Salonius. 

He also mentions the increasing discussion about value-based care but says there is still a limited understanding of its implications and how such models can be implemented. 

– Thanks to the long history of health data and biobanks, among other strengths, we are uniquely positioned to develop personalized healthcare. Many regions have started to seek efficiency through the utilization of e.g., digital channels for triage, and remote visits, he adds. 

What are the best ways for life science companies to adapt to, or guide the way, in these changing healthcare systems?    

– Start with learning how to share and scale best practices internally. Adapt agile practices to work, and shift from product-centric to care-centric, states Kenneth Salonius.  

He thinks that life science companies are in a unique position to work with healthcare providers to improve e.g., care and overall care pathways. In addition to bringing life-changing treatments to markets, they can work with healthcare providers to develop overall care pathways, identify pain points and unmet needs, and introduce solutions to these. 

– To further develop the ability to enable value-based care and share practices across the Nordics is important, he says and continues:  

– Supporting healthcare providers in adopting new ways of working and the shift towards value-based care is also vital. 

From your point of view, what are the keys to successful collaborations between healthcare systems/providers and life science companies? 

– An open and transparent communication, building trust, and creating a clear joint understanding of goals and ambitions, he says. 

He also thinks that it’s easier to solve concrete issues rather than trying to change entire systems. 

– Bring value to health care providers - not only better treatments but other tools as well. Think about follow-ups, for example. How could you support in bringing to market self-measuring solutions for patients, such as an app that is directly linked to the patient journal, he says.  

– Perseverance, you won't be ready in a financial quarter or even a year, concludes Kenneth Salonius.  


Link to Verticals' website >>