Cost Analysis of a Digital Health Care Model in Sweden

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Abstract

Digital technologies in health care areexpected to increase in scope and to affect ever more partsof the health care system. It is important to enhance theknowledge of whether new digital methods and innovationsprovide value for money compared with traditional modelsof care.Objective The objective of the study was to evaluatewhether a digital health care model for primary care is aless costly alternative compared with traditional in-officeprimary care in Sweden.Methods Cost data for the two care models were collectedand analyzed to obtain a measure in local currency per carecontact.Results The comparison showed that the total economiccost of a digital consultation is 1960 Swedish krona (SEK)(SEK100 = US$11.29; February 2017) compared withSEK3348 for a traditional consultation at a health careclinic. Cost differences arose on both the provider side andon the user side.Conclusion The digital health care model may be a lesscostly alternative to the traditional health care model.Depending on the rate of digital substitution, gross economiccost savings of between SEK1 billion and SEK10billion per year could be realized if more digital consultationswere made. Further studies are needed to validatethe findings, assess the types of care most suitable fordigital care, and also to obtain various quality-adjustedoutcome measures.

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  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
JournalPharmacoEconomics Open
Volume2
Issue number3
Early online date2017 Sep 22
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes