Telemedicine in northern Norway: A patient's centered initiative? An analysis of safety and security perspectives in e-health plans

Theme 2. Connectivity
Session Name 2.1 Enablement besides constraints: A multidisciplinary approach to cybersecurity and its connections to human security in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Johana Evelyn Montalvan Castilla (Arctic University of Norway, Norway), Christer Henrik Pursiainen (Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Abstract text

The Northern Norway Health Care Region is geographically long and scattered. Patients and medical practitioners have sometimes needed to embark in long and strenuous journeys for consultations and to access medical care. Telemedicine emerged as a solution to it and it is currently used in varying degrees in Northern Norway. According to the Norwegian National Plans for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the health sector, the country’s ultimate goal is to establish standardized, nationwide, seamless ICT solutions for the health care system.


Most studies and advisory reports have focused on the role of technology in improving medical performance and on its economic benefits. There is, however, a lack of critical studies focusing on how current national e-health plans and goals shaping the development of telemedicine define patient security. The purpose of this paper is to explore how patients and patients’ safety and security have been portrayed and defined in current Norwegian National e-health plans, white papers and national strategies. We propose a qualitative content analysis methodology as the best suited for the article’s aim. The article seeks to argue that the current technological and economic focus and present security and safety definitions in the health plans can limit and constraint patients and patients’ choices, particular needs and sense of security. We propose a mode of analysis that allows us to consider technological security threats and their possible effects but that will additionally allow us to capture the heterogeneity of security objects and therefore suggest new forms of action.

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