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County Mayor Region Stockholm at Digitalize in Stockholm 2021

Irene Svenonius, County Mayor Region Stockholm – speaker at Digitalize in Stockholm 2021.

Hi Irene, you are giving an introductory note at Digitalize in Stockholm – why is it important to be engaged in transformation through digitalization?

– Because digitalization offers us, as a public authority, new tools to solve the challenges facing Region Stockholm. This has in part been highlighted during the pandemic and the shift towards digital primary care, which has enabled care to be given to patients that were unable to visit physical health centers. Digitalization enables us to solve complex challenges in new ways, and to do it more efficiently than today. In the end, digitalization is important to us as it enables us to improve the lives of people living in Stockholm.

For Region Stockholm, what are the most important elements when it comes to digitalization?

– I believe that the most important elements for us are quite precisely highlighted in our strategy for digitalization, where we point out four main benefits that serves as the foundation of digitalization in our services. First and foremost, digitalization allows for a higher efficiency in the production of healthcare as well as in public transport. By increasing precision and minimizing human error, it also increases the overall quality of our services. We also see a big benefit from digitalization in that it enables new services that improves the lives of our patients, travelers, and taxpayers. And finally, it gives us a greater capacity to obtain knew knowledge by enabling sharing, management and analysis of data.

Which functions in society, according to you, would yield more value from digitalization?

– To me it is obvious that most public services stand to benefit from digital transformation. This is evident in both the healthcare and public transport that is administered by Region Stockholm. Areas such as automation and machine learning will have the ability two fundamentally improve the services we offer to our taxpayers.

What are the main obstacles – if any –  in your opinion?

– I would say that building up a proper knowledge about digital security and making sure that private information about our patients and citizens doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is one big obstacle. We work to improve this every day in Region Stockholm, because as a provider of healthcare and transportations services we must be at our best when it comes to handling cyber threats.

How important do you think it is for academia, industry and society to collaborate and why?

– I believe it to be incredibly important, both in general as well as in regarding digital transformation. If we are to take full advantage of digital advancements, we need to cooperate between public, private and academic sectors as we all have different strengths and weaknesses that complement each other. For example, in health care our patients stand to benefit from new treatments, tools and medications but neither are innovated by us but by the academic sector and private enterprise. A close relationship between us ensures that new innovations can be introduced and benefit our patients as soon as possible.

Digitalize in Stockholm on October 20-21, an annual conference and meeting place for global thought leaders and rising stars in academia, industry, government, and civil society – all engaged in transformation through digitalization.

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