Under the national ODA project, municipalities will reform their healthcare and social services, building a national system of services to support self-care. Solita is responsible for designing and developing the Omaolo service with Mediconsult Oy. The development of the service is being directed by DigiFinland Oy (previously SoteDigi Oy). The service uses the latest research data from the database of Duodecim Publishing Company Ltd and the Current Care Guidelines.
Solita has played a key role in both the technical development and service design of the new services. Solita’s designers have taken key roles in the service design and solution conceptualisation of the Omaolo service developed for the ODA project. At the preparation stage of the project, Solita was already researching the customer value of the service and defining the first concept drafts. Other capabilities of Solita have been employed as the service has developed. Understanding of the utilised service data was improved in the spring of 2020, and analytics experts were added to the Solita team.
Self-service and automation improve the lives of both professionals and clients
Currently, the Omaolo service includes intelligent assessments for symptoms and service needs, an electronic health check-up, well-being check-ups and coaching programmes, as well as periodic health check-ups. The service is developed continuously, and new services will be added to it in future.
The main objective of the ODA project is to increase self-service and automation to speed up, delegate to customers,, or fully automate some of the tasks conventionally carried out by professionals. A fundamental problem of the current situation is that most healthcare and social services are used by a small minority. For the vast majority, this situation presents as long queues and low service availability.
Omaolo provides analysis of personal well-being and symptoms with guidance to the correct services
Omaolo is a digital service that uses data from professional systems, as well as well-being data recorded by customers.
The Omaolo service will transform how customers use services and access information, as well as the daily work of healthcare and social services professionals.
The recommendations of the Omaolo service are always personal and based on up-to-date scientific evidence. The service includes the following:
- Symptom assessment. Service assessment and guidance. Symptom assessments are intended for singular health problems, such as upper respiratory tract infections. The assessment will recommend an action, which may include self-care instructions, an electronic prescription, or the right to make an appointment. The service assessments and guidance help discover the help available for the user’s situation or that of their loved ones: support for dependent care, personal assistance, etc.
- Well-being check-ups and coaching programmes. A well-being check-up is an overview of personal well-being that identifies potential risks. The check-up makes suggestions that help the user improve their well-being independently, such as changing exercise and sleeping routines. Electronic coaching with guidance and progress-tracking tasks is available to support the changes. If there are concerns about the results, the Omaolo service will direct the user to contact the appropriate professional.
- Periodic health check-ups. The user’s local professional may ask them to fill out preliminary information forms for various purposes, such as child health clinic visits, school and student health services, or oral healthcare. They help the user prepare for periodic check-ups for themselves, their child or family. The user’s response is sent to the professional and reviewed during the visit. The user may also be provided with recommendations.
- Personal plan. All care and services in one location, including objectives, measures, treatments and monitoring. The plan is based on goals the user sets for themselves and the care or service they plan with their professional. The user can also create a self-care plan that they will monitor themselves.
All Omaolo services are available in both Finnish and Swedish. The first English version of the service was published in the spring of 2020, with ongoing updates.
More time for service instead of paperwork
Clients can avoid queueing and use the Omaolo service to find information and answers anytime, anywhere. All assessments and guidance will be based on the user’s data, making them both reliable and personal. The user will play a greater role in assessing and monitoring their personal well-being. Professionals will have more time for the customer when they require face-to-face service, as no time is wasted on filling in forms at the office.
The services will give professionals more comprehensive preliminary information about customers coming for an appointment. They can spend the appointment interacting with the customer instead of gathering and recording details about the situation. The routine workload of professionals will be reduced.
Omaolo pilot projects are underway
The Omaolo service is being developed continuously. Multiple pilot projects are currently in progress, for example:
- Clinical pathways for chronically ill patients – diabetes, hypertension
- Service pathways – healthcare and wellness centres, coordinated accident and emergency services
- Service pathways for special groups – long-term unemployed persons, immigrants, the elderly, disabled persons, young persons with mental illness
Aiming for effectiveness and cost-efficiency
The Omaolo service will free up resources in healthcare and social services.
An estimated 30 million euros worth of work will be saved annually.
These savings will be achieved by reducing patient visits and improving processes. The final amounts will become clear as the service is adopted nationally.
Little research exists about the effectiveness of digital symptom assessments. Even less research exists about how the people who receive these assessments view their results. Research does suggest that the launching of digital services will likely be followed by their rapid adoption, which supports the monitoring of digital symptom assessments and services by using varied materials and methods. The effectiveness of the Omaolo service and the user experience should be researched more broadly.
Creating the COVID-19 symptom check-up in the spring of 2020
In the spring of 2020, the rapidly growing concern about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) manifested as increasing calls to healthcare channels. In response, SoteDigi Oy coordinated the creation of the COVID-19 symptom check-up for the Omaolo service, realised in collaboration by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Duodecim Publishing Company Ltd, Solita and Mediconsult Oy.
The check-up is a digital survey that helps the user assess the likelihood of a COVID-19 infection. It also guides the user to the correct service or local health advice organisation. Equal service is provided regardless of when and where the user accesses the service, and the service also helps direct the attention of healthcare professionals to those who need it most.
In five months, the check-up was used by over 1 million Finnish citizens. The COVID-19 symptom check-up was also added to the national 112 Suomi mobile app.