The medical and rehabilitation clinic at Piteå Hospital has a wide catchment area reaching over 350 km from the mountain areas in the west to the coast in the east. Because of long distances, some care plans are made by telephone.

Many of the patients at the hospital in Piteå belong to the municipality of Älvsbyn and the distance of 50 km means that the municipality's representatives do not have the opportunity to participate in all care plans in place. Previously, speakerphone has been used and patients have trouble hearing what is said and know who it is talking.

– For several years, we have planned discharge plans via video and tested a few times. But for various reasons we have not succeeded, says Gudrun Bergström, local project manager at Piteå Hospital.

They heard about the RemoAge project, became curious and asked if they could participate. With the help from the project and partly old equipment, they got started.

– We have used Skype where the responsible nurse in the hospital sent an invitation to the meeting. At the discharge meeting the patient is placed in the centre of the computer screen and clearly sees who participates from Älvsbyn. Many people become very happy when they see people whom they met before and have a much greater retention of the meeting than when it was done by phone. We get a higher quality of the discharge plans and both patients and relatives are more satisfied, says Annelee Mickelsson, local project manager at Älvsbyn Municipality.

The experiences among the nurses at the hospital are mixed. Most of them are very positive, while some find it difficult with video meetings and have problems with the technology.

– There are clear manuals and routines, but it requires both practise and some pressure to make sure everyone is using the new way of working. The overall assessment is certainly very positive, and we intend to continue with Skype Discharge Plans, and we are also thinking about implementing this way of working in other locations, says Gudrun Bergström.

The RemoAge project tests and implements several services that include the use of different ICT applications and tools to support vulnerable older people. In the planning and discussions that took place in the process of writing the proposal for the project ethical issues related to the implementation of the services in the different national contexts were discussed and considered very important to evaluate and learn more about.

Assistive technology and ICT based services are often promoted as means of retaining autonomy and quality of life for older people, including people with dementia, and enable older people to continue to live in their own home. At the same time there are also several risks identified that could create ethical issues for the individual. Part of the process of focusing on ethical issues was to review existing research and this is a summary report describing the findings and conclusions from the review of literature.


Read the rapport by Stefan Sävenstedt and Päivi Juuso, Luleå University of technology: Ethical issues in the use of ICT as support for vulnerable older people to live longer in their homes – A review of literature here

Results from the RemoAge-project will be presented at the conference in Luleå, Sweden.

In January the project team will meet up for one last project meeting in Luleå, Norrbotten, Sweden for a busy three day schedule with presentations of the final results, workshops and study visits to some of the pilots taking place in Norrbotten.

Save the date: January 16, 2018

Details about the programme and registration will soon be presented at

Target group: Clinicians, Health and Social Care professionals, Health and Social Care
providers, Policy makers, Politicians and Healthcare Societies/NGO’s



In February 2017, a project started in Norrbotten to develop a work model that enables patients, relatives and healthcare professionals in rural areas to have video consultations with specialist physicians and counselling palliative care teams.

The county of Norrbotten covers one quarter of Sweden's area and has about 250,000 inhabitants. The county has large parts of rural countryside with long distances and is one of Europe’s most sparsely populated regions. In the county there are 14 municipalities responsible for social care and the Region of Norrbotten, responsible for health care, has one County hospital and four district hospitals divided into five community healthcare areas.

The responsibility for general palliative care in Norrbotten rests on primary care General Practitioners, municipal home care and nursing homes. It is supported by specialized palliative care consisting of palliative counselling team and palliative inpatient-care units at each hospital in the county.

The health care professionals in the rural areas can by using a laptop or tablet set up a video conference meeting with a palliative counselling team in another location for consultation or follow-up. The new way of working improves the opportunities for patient and relatives to receive qualified support for palliative care directly at home. Video consultations reduce travel especially for the patient but also for staff and increase the prerequisites for optimal utilization of the palliative counselling teams limited medical resources.

Distance assessments and follow-ups have previously been done by telephone only, but now with the new technology, it is possible to provide safer assessments through video conference technology.

The target group for the project is patients with palliative care connected to palliative resources, their close relatives and health care professionals in five rural municipalities in Norrbotten.

The RemoAge Project is moving rapidly towards the finish line. While the RemoAge pilots only will continue to be co-funded by the Northern Arctic and Periphery Program whom has made RemoAge possible for a few additional months I am very proud to already be able to say that RemoAge Services will continue to make a difference after the project period. The very successful project teams in the Shetland Islands, Western isles, Tromsö and Norrbotten has worked very hard to put the necessary conditions in place for continued service delivery and development also after the projects duration.


On the 9th-11th of May 2017, all the partners in the RemoAge project met on the Shetland Islands to talk about Ethical Evaluation, Transnational Learning and Data Collection, but also to have workshops and a public exhibition.

– We have had a really exciting time, sharing some good ideas with people. We are hoping that people have found the tour we had on the north island here in Shetland interesting, informative and entertaining. We would like to thank everyone for coming and hope that they come back and see us again in Shetland some day, says Alan Murdoch, National Health Service Shetland.

Watch videos from the RemoAge partners work from Shetland
Data collection
In the work of implementing new technologies the RemoAge project needs to get evidence of what works and what does not work. During the partner meeting in Shetland data was collected about the outcome for frail older people and their families.
Listen to Louise McCabe, Evaluation and Transnational Learning Team here
Transnational learning
Transnational learning is important within the RemoAge project because the partners are concerned with the practical details of the implementation of different services. To have an exchange of ideas on a practical level is very helpful.
Listen to Alison Dawson, Evaluation and Transnational Learning Team, and Clint Sentence, Telecare/Telehealth Project manager at Shetland Island Council here
Ethical issues
Many ethical issues arise when new technologies are introduced. New ways of working and new concepts result in issues around safety security and organizational changes.
Listen to Stefan Sävenstedt, Team for Ethical Issues and Graham Stiles, Team Leader at the Shetland Islands Council here
Radio interviews
Listen into BBC radios report from the RemoAge Exhibition in Shetland (starts at 17 minutes) here




One uses Ipads to enable older people living on islands with low access to public transport, which make it difficult to participate in social activities taking place in the central city. By connecting with the support of a relative or caregiver, the person can talk to friends, relatives or other people, as well as participate from a distances in different social activities.

When the RemoAge team visited the Nordalea Care Centre on the northernmost island of Unst, the team got the chance to talk to elderly residents who visited the daytime accommodation to participate in various social activities. The group we talked to had recently tested video calls to talk to a similar daytime activity in the outer Hebrides, something that was highly appreciated.

The second service was in the starting pit of testing a digital platform for elderly, their relatives and healthcare staff ( The service has previously been tested in other parts of the UK with promising results.

The Artic Light Ehealth Conference, ALEC, focused on how digital technology transforms health care. Several of the partners in RemoAge made appreciated presentations about the project and shared their experiences and knowledge to the conference participants.

ALEC 2017 gathered around 300 policy makers, business innovators, digital health leaders, senior care professionals and ehealth strategists from all over Europe including USA and India. The conference was led between the 1st and 2nd of February in the city of Luleå in Norrbotten, Sweden.

The conference focused on clever use of technology, innovations in digital services and customized ways of working that will enable more active, healthy and independent life for patients and citizens.

The RemoAge project had many partners participating and some were presenting their work within the project.

Watch videos from ALEC 2017

Voices from ALEC 2017

Summary from ALEC 2017


On December 7th County Council Commissioner, Mrs Agneta Granström accepted on behalf of the Norrbotten Region the Award as a 3-star reference site for Active and Healthy Ageing by the European commission at the European Summit of Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing.

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and healthy Ageing is coordinated by the EU commission, which awarded Norrbotten a three-star status as a reference site for their outstanding commitment to leading health innovation, something which the RemoAge project is a great example of. Norrbotten is recognized as one of 74 European organizations that demonstrate excellence in the development, adoption and scaling up of innovative practices for active and healthy ageing.

– The demographic challenge is something we all have in common, but we have all found different ways to address the issues of an ageing population. Through transnational collaboration with other leaders in health innovation like our RemoAge partners we can learn what is needed to succeed and avoid the pitfalls others already experienced. The sharing of knowledge and expertise that is facilitated by our European partnerships is invaluable to us and we are extremely grateful that we have been given this opportunity to become even better in the future, says Agneta Granström, County Council Commissioner of Norrbotten.

Agneta Granström (in red), County Council Commissioner of Norrbotten, accepted on behalf of the Norrbotten Region the Award as a 3-star reference site for Active and Healthy Ageing by the European commission at the European Summit of Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing.

This winter the municipality of Balsfjord, Norway, will establish a Patient Centered Healthcare Team and join the RemoAge project.

The multi-disciplinary Patient Centered Healthcare Teams, PACT, in Tromsø and Harstad aims to strengthen health care services for frail and multi-morbid elderly. PACT is a collaboration between the hospital and municipalities and follows up patients with chronic and complex conditions that are discharged from the hospital.

The municipality of Balsfjord is now working to establish a third Patient Centered Healthcare Team. Balsfjord has 5,500 inhabitants and neighbours on Tromsø. Balsfjord PACT has procured tablets using own funding and will join the RemoAge project this winter. The RemoAge project group at the Norwegian Centre for E-health Research will provide training, technical support and project management. Balsfjord PACT will collaborate closely with Tromsø PACT, which has experience with employing the iPad service for almost a year. However, we expect the Balsfjord PACT to develop the service further to meet local needs for communication, interaction and sharing of information.
RemoAge and PACT
The Patient Centered Healthcare Teams use tablets and videoconference as a communication tool with the aim of improving the flow of information and interaction within the team, with external healthcare professionals and patients.

As a result of the Call for Reference sites 2016 launched in December 2015 at the Conference of Partners of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, Norrbotten has been chosen as a reference site for European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA).

EIP on AHA is coordinated by the EU commission, which awarded Norrbotten a three-star status as a reference site. Norrbotten is seen as one of 74 organizations that demonstrates excellence in the development, adoption and scaling up of innovative practices for active and healthy ageing, in line with the strategic objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) and particularly the European Scaling Up Strategy for Innovation in Active and Healthy Ageing.

The goal of the European Innovation partnership is to invest in innovative solutions that will lead to improvements in the quality of life of the ageing population, support efficiencies and sustainability of health and social care delivery and finally, stimulate economic growth and competitiveness.

– It is a recognition of our long-term efforts in working with innovaion in the field of active and healthy ageing I am very happy about this stamp of approval, it is a good indication that we are working in the right way, something that RemoAge and Scirocco projects are great examples of, says Agneta Granström, County Council Commissioner of Norrbotten and president of the Assembly of European Regions Ehealth network