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Author's profile photo Wolfgang Schaper

Some Thoughts on Welfare Technology

The day before the ESN Conference at The Hague startet (cf. this blog) there was a preconference “Nordic Day”, hosted by the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues. The topic of this Nordic Day was Welfare Technology and its use in the 5 nordic countries Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. Basically welfare technology is technology that prevents, assists, or delivers welfare services. Such as medical beds, sensor diapers, sensors detecting whether some persons collapses at home, devices to enable a patient to check his health condition by himself, or remote medical advice. Interestingly enough the use of welfare technology saves money while increasing patient satisfaction and wellbeing at the same time.


When attending the presentations, an idea came to my mind: why not taking this approach one step further? Welfare technology actually offers for great Internet of Things (IOT) use cases, adding even more value. There are two things SAP offers the right solutions for:

  1. A lot data gets generated when using welfare technology. That data may be used for statistics, analytics, and predictive purposes. Not only for the benefit of this specific patient, but also for other persons – patient’s approval provided of course. An example could be learning more about the linkage of using welfare technology and the course of disease.
  2. What if welfare technology devices would be able to communicate with each other? That opens up the stage for completely new use cases. Such as a medical bed and a sensor diaper being able together to evaluate correlations of leakages and sleeping positions or behavior patterns, which may result in proposals to reduce leakages.

While SAP for Social Protection is the perfect fit when it comes to applying for and approving of welfare technology, IOT will help to connect devices. And SAP HANA is the right platform to handle big data that is being generated.

For sure I will discuss this with quite a few people during the upcoming ESN conference, as that is the place where the subject matter experts are.

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