Population and Public Health

The Development of Digital Health and Welfare Services in Estonia, Finland and Latvia Case Study

Arcada is a multi-professional University of Applied Sciences (UAS) with a campus located in Helsinki, Finland. Arcada offers practice-oriented higher education in seventeen bachelors and seven master’s degree levels, as well as advanced educational offerings in both Swedish and English. Arcada has over 2,400 students and 190 employees in four educational departments. The Department of Health and Welfare is the largest department at Arcada with over 1,100 students and approximately 50 teachers and researchers in emergency care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nursing, sports and social services. Laurea is a multi-professional UAS with seven campuses located throughout the greater Helsinki region. Laurea offers higher education based on the Learning by Developing (LbD) pedagogical model in 10 bachelor level programs in Finnish and six in English, and 10 master’s level programs in Finnish and two in English. Laurea has 7,800 students and nearly 300 employees. Laurea has three research, development and innovation areas: health and social integrity, coherent security and service business. The Health and Welfare sector encompasses nursing, physiotherapy and social science programs. Laurea is one of the largest nursing educators in Finland with 1,700 nursing students. Tartu Health Care College (THCC) is a higher education institution with a modern learning environment offering education and training in the fields of service, health and social care. THCC offers seven programs: nursing, midwifery, specialized nursing, physiotherapy, radiography, biomedical science, environmental health and vocational education in five programs in Estonian language. The college is also going to open an English language master’s program in radiography. In THCC, the principle followed is that practical training forms an integral part of the study process, supporting the acquisition of specialist, occupational and professional competencies and experience, supporting the consolidation of theoretical knowledge in practical work conditions. THCC has recognition in Estonia and internationally with over 1,200 students and nearly 80 employs. Red Cross Medical College (RCMC) of Rīga Stradiņš University is a higher education institution offering programs in nursing and medicine as well as a vocational education program in nursing. RCMC has 780 students and approximately 60 employees serving for five 1st level higher professional education study programs and three vocational education programs. RCMC has extensive network of healthcare industry partners, including hospitals, primary doctor’s practices and emergency services, to provide insights into the health sector and ensure program compliance in relation to industry needs. RCMC is a modern, stable and demanded educational institution with more than 97 years of rich history and experience in health care education. RCMC provides strong expertise in the development and implementation of innovations in health care and public health sectors, research and student’s enterprise for implementation projects. RCMC works in collaboration with health sectors, institutions, labor market and line authorities. There was no formal connection between the four universities before this project began, other than the fact that all universities are located in the Central Baltic Region. This case study follows the development and execution of an international project focused on assessing and improving health IT education within these universities and colleges.