The North Denmark region: Investing in collaborative efforts to develop the hospital sector as well as business competencies and technological expertise
(Article prepared in the BSHR HealthPort project part-financed by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund, Baltic Sea Region programme 2007 – 2013).
On the picture the Chairman of the regional Committee for Health Innovation and Business Cooperation, Mr. Jørgen Rørbæk Henriksen, the North Denmark region.
The North Denmark region faces the same fundamental challenges as other regions and countries in the European Union. An aging population and depopulation of the rural areas, a decreasing workforce and a loss of private sector jobs due to globalisation all represent major threats to continued development and growth.
The key to taking advantage of North Denmark’s potential lies in regional collaboration. Based on a fundamental understanding that the challenges caused by globalisation and demographical changes can only be solved through combined efforts, North Denmark already has a strong tradition of mutual planning, strategy-making and durable partnerships between the regional government, the region’s municipalities, its educational institutions and private companies.
Following a HealthPort regional hearing in North Denmark, the chairman of the regional Committee for Health Innovation and Business Cooperation, Mr. Jørgen Rørbæk Henriksen, asserts that:
“We need to further develop an open and cooperative region, and change the mind-set so that the relationships between hospitals and companies involve not just selling and buying products – but also investing in collaborative efforts to develop the hospital sector as well as business competencies and technological expertise.
Public-private innovation projects should focus on generating value in three dimensions: for the end-users, for the public healthcare system and for the private companies.”
There is already a close cooperation between the region’s public hospitals and private companies. Among other initiatives, so-called Ideas Clinics have been established at several hospitals in the region to strengthen employee and user driven innovation in the development of new health products and services. By connecting the hospitals’ research activities to potential industrial partners, the Ideas’ Clinics helps commercialise ideas in cooperation with private companies from all around the world. As the Head of Innovation in North Denmark Region, Mr. Kjeld Lisby, argues:
“We are working on a global scale with local problems, and we start by asking what value a new solutions could bring for the patients, organization and staff. If there is a real need we then look for an existing solution world-wide, before venturing into an innovation project.”
On the Picture Head of Innovation in North Denmark Region, Mr. Kjeld Lisby.
Furthermore, the North Denmark Region has recently established a one-stop-shop to provide companies easy access to large-scale testing environments and participation in innovation projects within health technology. In particular, private companies are invited to take part in the development of new innovative technologies etc.
A Case of Public-Private Health Innovation
The Pre-hospital Patient Journal amPHI was developed and implemented in North Denmark from 2001 to 2011 in collaboration between the North Denmark Region, Falck Healthcare Inc. and Judex Inc. From 2014 the journal is expected to be implemented nationwide in Denmark.
The system allows for a real-time transmission of patient monitoring data from the ambulance to the hospital, so the staff is fully prepared when the patient arrives. The latest addition to the system also allows for a video consultation between a senior physician in the hospital, the ambulance staff and the patient.