Eliminating Hepatitis C – from screening to treatment
“Ingen ska ha hepatit C” is an innovation project run by our friends at HealthSolutions, with a pilot now running in the Stockholm Region. It aims at simplifying the process for treating Hepatitis C by bringing multiple players together around a user friendly treatment chain.
Hepatitis C is a serious infectious disease that mainly affects the liver. If left untreated it can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. The WHO has adopted a strategy to eliminate hepatitis by 2030. These days there are effective treatments. Prior to 2014 the drugs used to treat hepatitis C caused many side effects and only about 50% were cured. New drugs on the market are easier to take, has less side-effects and cures more than 95% of the treated patients.
But there’s a problem; since the virus is blood-borne, the disease is often stigmatised because it is associated with injection drug use. There are numerous other ways of contracting the disease, but the stigmatisation raises the threshold for people to seek care. For people with addiction there’s also a threshold because they avoid general care for other reasons.
This project was designed to help lower both of these thresholds, reach and funnel more people to treatment and as such contribute to the elimination of the disease. The entire healthcare chain – from risk group assessment, referral to blood test, test results, video call with doctors, prescription of medication and follow-up – is easily done from your smartphone.
The only things that remain in the physical world is blood test and getting your medication.
We worked closely together with Health Solutions who were the initiators and leaders of the project, and who cater to the digital decision support as well as the national quality registry for Hepatitis C. The service is a collaboration between Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Norrlands University Hospital, MSD, MediCheck, InfoSolutions, Ocean and Health Solutions with financial support from Sweden's innovation agency Vinnova/MedTech4Health.
Today, the service is up and running in Stockholm. After the Stockholm pilot, it will be rolled out in other regions.
For me it has been so good, I save both time and money and do not feel stressed by commuter trains and to go away for visits. Nice and easy with a doctor's visit in your mobile!