Hospital care replaced by home and remote care – a new technological solution to be implemented using an innovation partnership model

A platform that integrates the technological solutions used in home and remote care services will be implemented in Tampere. The platform is based on an innovation partnership model, and funded by Business Finland. In the best-case scenario, the city will save millions of euros each year through the integration of several different services on just one platform. What’s more, the way in which the system is procured is new.

Tampere is going to start implementing a platform which integrates home and remote care services and technological solutions. The procurement of the platform is based on the understanding that it is necessary to provide a wider range of services for the home environment to improve the quality of social and healthcare services, and to increase the customer’s autonomy. Furthermore, the platform makes it possible to reduce the number of days spent in hospital by regular health-monitoring and by increasing the sense of security. The reason for a hospitalisation period is not always medical; often it is the result of a sense of insecurity, and for people living alone it can be the fear of not being able to take care of themselves on their own. If the days spent in hospital by the 4,000 annual home care customers in Tampere could be reduced by three days a year per customer, the annual savings would be almost EUR 5 million.

“Here in Tampere, we are trying to develop preventive, anticipatory and safe services that support living at home. Among other things, the platform will enable us to centralise data and provide round-the-clock social and primary healthcare services,” explains Service Director Anniina Tirronen of the City of Tampere.

The Smart Tampere programme by the City of Tampere, which coordinates the procurement of the integration platform, and the TampereSenior programmes’ Kotidigi project received EUR 200,000 in funding from Business Finland (previously Tekes). It is a procurement model enabled by the Act on Public Contracts, which entered into force on 1 January 2017. According to the model, a public operator does not procure an off-the-shelf solution. Instead, a new solution is created in cooperation with companies and, for instance, research facilities. The requirements of the home and remote care integration platform were specified in the spring of 2017, led by the City of Tampere and FinnMedi Oy. The specification was carried out by a total of more than 50 companies following an open specification process of the Smart Tampere programme. During the procurement process, FinnMedi will help companies form consortiums, which is the goal of the innovation partnership invitation to tender.

“Business Finland felt that the Tampere Kotidigi project was an interesting one because it targets the growing home services sector and the emphasis turns to measurable data-based prevention. What is also essential to us is that the project enables the participating companies to develop their products and services, and it supports their global growth. The close cooperation between the city and the companies makes it possible to build new kinds of service packages and make them more accessible to customers. Other cities would be well-advised to keep an eye on the project because Tampere is going to provide the service on the basis of a new innovation partnership model, which strengthens cooperation and makes it possible to effectively utilise the innovation potential of companies,” explains Maarit Lahtonen, Senior Technological Adviser at Business Finland.

The innovation partnership model makes it possible to develop and test both an integration platform based on open standards and related services, such as centralised monitoring, alarms, device register management, etc. The purpose of the technological entity is to integrate hospital care and home care into one service chain, and to improve the utilisation of data collected from isolated, mutually incompatible technologies as a whole, so as to monitor the customer’s condition more closely and comprehensively using comparable data. The idea is that once the platform is ready, the customer is not forced to give up a technology with which they are already familiar.

The new platform enables wider adoption of remote monitoring and wellbeing technologies, and makes it possible to grow the industry market on a national level, providing the companies involved with references for the international market.