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 utilised in response to changing conditions in the healthcare sector. The project started in the spring of 2018 and runs for three years.

Labour shortage and recruitment

An ageing population, technological development and changing needs will increase demands for healthcare. With current working practices and staffing, recruiting personnel will be one of the greatest challenges facing healthcare providers. More and more healthcare workers are retiring, while many skilled professionals are leaving the healthcare sector for other work. These two trends have created personnel shortages. At the same time, the number of people who are undergoing training is insufficient to meet replacement. Today, the healthcare sector is already facing an acute labour shortage. According to Statistics Sweden, by 2025 the Swedish healthcare 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 healthcare. 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 healthcare 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 healthcare personnel

Healthcare is a high-risk industry. Injuries occur in 9% of all hospital visits, 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, personnel can practice and upgrade their technical skills, behaviour, and decision-making capabilities. This report examines what effect advanced simulator training has on a healthcare 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: May 2019.

Who will take care of the elderly?

Working conditions in the field of geriatric care are important when it comes to recruiting personnel in the future, as well as for the quality of care for the elderly. An ageing population and increasing numbers of people retiring mean that the demand for healthcare personnel is increasing continuously. This report studies working conditions for healthcare personnel between 2005 and 2015 in all of the Nordic countries. What changes have taken place during this period? What differences exist between the Nordic countries?

Author: Anneli Stranz, researcher at the Department of Social Work, Stockholm University.

Planned publication: Fall of 2019.

Remuneration models and e-health

The Swedish county council remuneration system is subject to constant development. The introduction of digitalisation brings both opportunities and challenges. The establishment of digital health centres provides a timely example of both. The purpose of this 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 Healthcare. 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 healthcare

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 the innovation and implementation of IT systems in the healthcare sector. A majority of rheumatologists throughout Sweden use SRQ voluntarily. It is also used by new target groups, such as clinical department managers, patients, government authorities, and scientists, and it contains data on numerous patients. This report summarises research on these achievements and what consequences they have had for the relationships between patients, physicians, occupational roles, and organisations.

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

Planned publication: June 2019

Facts about the project


4/3 2019 The Government’s official investigation of pharmaceuticals presented at SNS
19/2 2019 Assistive technology in elderly care
28/11 2018 How can we solve the shortage of specialist nurses?
August 30, 2018: How do we quality-proof digital healthcare?
June 26, 2018: Steering towards equal healthcare
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: Healthcare 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,, +46 (0)722 51 57 98