Health care in the 21st century

The aim of this project is to generate new knowledge about how competence can be assured and how new technology can be utilized in response to the changing conditions in the health care sector. The project will start in the spring of 2018 and run for three years.

Labor shortage and recruitment

An aging population, technological development and changing needs will increase the demand for health care. With current working practices and staffing, recruiting personnel will be one of the greatest challenges facing the health- and caringcare providersservices. Large retirements and trained personnel leaving the caring sector create shortages of personnelMore and more healthcare workers are retiring, while many skilled personnel are leaving the healthcare sector for other work, creating personnel shortages. At the same time, inadequate numbers are undergoing training. Today the healthcare sector is already facing an acute labor shortage. According to Statistics Sweden, by 2025 the Swedish health care sector will be lacking 90,000 people with the right qualifications.

New technology can help to make better use of resources

There is a risk that the lack of personnel will further increase the cost of Swedish health care. However, with the right management and implementation, technological advances can create the scope conditions for new working practices, and possibly facilitate recruitment.

This research project will focus on two key dimensions of the structural transformation facing the health care sector. First, how can the supply of skilled workers be guaranteed? Second, how can the benefits of new technology be leveraged in this area?

Ongoing research

New training methods for tomorrow’s health care personnel

Health care is a high-risk organisation. In nine per cent of all hospital visits, a health care injury occurs, of which half are judged to be avoidable. Personnel need training if they are to be capable of using the latest high-tech equipment in the best possible way. Using advanced medical simulation, the personnel can practice and upgrade their technical skills, behaviour and decision-making capabilities. This report examines what effect advanced simulator training has on the health care team.

Authors: Li Felländer-Tsai, professor of orthopaedics and senior physician; Annika Östman Wernerson, professor of Renal and transplantation pathology and senior physician, Karolinska Institute; and Anders Bergenfelz, professor of surgery and senior physician, Lund University.

Planned publication: November 2018.

Who will take care of the elderly?

Work conditions in geriatric care are important when it comes to recruiting personnel in the future and for the quality of elderly care. An aging population and large numbers moving into retirement mean that the demand for health care personnel is increasing all the time. This report studies work conditions of health care personnel between 2005 and 2015 in all the Nordic countries. What changes have taken place during the period? What differences are there between the Nordic countries?

Author: Anneli Stranz, researcher at the department of social work, Stockholm University.

Planned publication: February 2019.

Remuneration models and e-health

The county council remuneration system is subject to constant development. The introduction of digitalisation brings both opportunities and challenges. A current example is provided by the establishment of digital health centres. The purpose of the report is to survey what remuneration models the county councils use and to illustrate how remuneration models promote or hinder developments in the field of e-health. The report also highlights policy recommendations based on experiences in Sweden and abroad. The report is a follow up of the SNS report Remuneration in Health Care. Models, Effects and Recommendations (2014).

Author: Peter Lindgren, CEO, The Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE) and Professor of Health Economics, Karolinska Institute.

Planned publication: March 2019.

Patient involvement and profession-driven IT Innovation in health care

The IT system Swedish rheumatology quality register (SRQ) is widely referred to in Sweden and abroad. It is in several ways a successful example of innovation and implementation of IT systems in health care. It is used voluntarily by a majority of rheumatologists throughout Sweden. It is also used by new target groups such as clinical department managers, patients, government authorities and scientists, as well as containing data on numerous patients. This report summarises research on how the above has been achieved and what consequences this has had for relationships between patients, physicians, occupational roles and organisations.

Author: Anna Essén, associate professor in business administration, Stockholm School of Economics

Planned publication: April 2019

Facts about the project


August 30, 2018: How do we quality proof digital health care?
June 26, 2018: Steering towards equal health care
March 21, 2018: Roundtable discussion on elderly care
November 9, 2017: How do we make Sweden best at eHealth?
July 2, 2017: SNS at Almedalen: Health care in the 21st century

Funding and reference group

The reference group consists of Apoteket, AstraZeneca, Bräcke Diakoni, Frisq, Inera, MedLearn, Min Doktor, Praktikertjänst, The Swedish Heart and Lung Association, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sophiahemmet, Stockholm County Council, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency, Temabo, Swedish Higher Education Authority, Vinnova and Swedish Association of Health Professionals.

Time frame



Research Director: Gabriella Chirico Willstedt,
+46 (0)722 43 41 08

Project manager: Gustav Peldán Carlsson,, 0722-51 57 98.