Patient Empowerment of the Future – Hälsa för mig by Helene Richardsson

Helene Rickardsson made a very interesting presentation about “Hälsa för mig” that I listened to the other day. Hälsa för mig is an eHealth service provided by the eHealth Authority in Sweden for patients. The service makes it possible for patients to securely store their data related to health, and patients can also use other services such as health apps to change, delete or create new information. The image for the blog post is not an image of the system as such, but more a general idea of what it could look like.

Hälsa för mig will also connect to the patients electronic health record Journalen, so that the patients can use this information in connection to other services such as applications about exercise, blood sugar, sleep and food. Hälsa för mig is a service provided from the authorities where information is securely stored (or as securely as possible), and where the national eID is used for logging in.

The system Hälsa för mig will start run as a pilot in 2017 with vaccinations and lab results in the counties Värmland and Jönköping. There will not be a big launch countrywide, but a stepwise implementation of the system to make sure that the system works properly.

Many of these new eHealth services such as Journalen and Hälsa för mig are made from the perspective of increasing patient empowerment, as research shows that having access to your own information is crucial for being in charge of your own health.

Helene Richardsson gave examples of how this service can be used for securely storing information about blood pressure, weight and data from activity bands such as UP Jawbone and similar.

In the discussions around this service some interesting points came up:

  • The business models for app development in relation to Hälsa för mig are not in place. Very few companies are interested in app development so far. Other countries have experienced the same problems. This is really interesting and a bit sad 🙁
  • The service is in many ways similar to the app Health that iPhone provides. The major difference lies in the storage of data. In the app the data is owned and sold in an anonymous way, in Hälsa för mig it is safely stored without being sold.
  • One can wonder if the autonomous county councils will have their own interpretations regarding the use of Hälsa för mig, just as they have had so far when it comes to Journalen.
  • Do users really think about security and the difference between Hälsa för mig and the iPhone app? Do they ever consider that he information in the app is not really securely stored, and that the anonymized information is sold to different coutries?

One final remark is the health care professionals perspectives on this, and in what way this will affect the work environment in health care. I know from our DOME studies that health care professionals often worry about the patients. They worry that patients will misinterpret information, be worried and not understand the holistic perspective, to give a few examples. In what way do health care professionals think about Hälsa för mig?