Fjallabyggd leads from the front with
integrated elderly care
In the northernmost part of Iceland, the municipality of Fjallabyggd has set itself the goal of becoming the country’s leading provider of integrated elderly care services using digital and distance-spanning solutions.
Services that support independence
To achieve this objective, Fjallabyggd has launched Hátindur 60+, a project aiming to develop innovative healthcare and care services that enhance the independence and physical and social health of its elderly residents and enable them to live longer in their own homes. The initiative is a partnership with Veltek, a health and welfare technology cluster connecting twelve municipalities in northern Iceland, health institutions, universities, and technology providers. Other key partners are the Healthcare Institution of North Iceland (HSN), the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities, and the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs.
“Fjallabyggd is in the process of rethinking and reshaping the way in which it provides elderly care,” says Perla Björk Egilsdóttir, CEO of Veltek. “The municipality is increasing its use of remote healthcare and other welfare technologies, with emphasis on the integration of social services, home care, and health.”
Fjallabyggd is currently establishing a telecare centre at the local nursing home, Hornbrekka. The telecare centre will enable the municipality to offer remote care visits as a safe and secure alternative to the traditional in-person home visits. The goal is to provide more flexible services adapted to the individual user’s needs and resources.
Workshops to promote integrated health and care
“With support from iHAC, we’ve held two workshops to promote more integrated care, mainly by enhancing coordination between Fjallabyggd and HSN,” says Egilsdóttir, adding that the solutions developed in Fjallabyggd will benefit other municipalities as well. Two additional municipalities, Dalvíkurbyggd and Thingeyjarsveit, participated in the workshops. “We also had representatives from the City of Reykjavik’s Welfare Technology Centre who generously shared their experiences of implementing screen visits in the city’s social and health services. It’s been fantastic to see the willingness to share knowledge to promote remote-first as a quality option in healthcare and care.”
The workshop participants defined six action points that will help Fjallabyggd and other municipalities develop integrated social and health services to benefit their users. The action points touch upon everything from the choice of technology, communication and coordination between different organisations, decision-making processes, and the importance of continuously measuring progress and impact.
IHAC investments focus on developing components for structured collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing between different organisations for increased patient service access through digital solutions.