The NordicBaltic.tech platform showcases the latest digital initiatives and startup solutions across the Nordic-Baltic region that are being deployed in response to COVID-19.
To effectively respond to these unprecedented challenges, it is necessary to promote collaboration across the Nordic-Baltic region, and understand where technology can be most effective.
We have identified 6 core thematic areas where technology is already having an impact: Education, Healthcare, Social Care, Employment & Welfare, Finance & Welfare, and Support for Startups. Over the following months, we will be investigating changing trends in these sectors, identifying key challenges, highlighting the best solutions, and showcasing technology initiatives from across the region.
Covid-19 has forced the closure of schools and universities across the Nordic region, shifting education online. More and more institutions are therefore embracing digital technologies as a means of mitigating some of the impact of school closures. This has resulted in growing demand for a range of EdTech solutions. Innovative companies are already responding to this pressure by pivoting their products to support teachers and students to deliver and receive education remotely. A range of initiatives have also proliferated across the Nordic-Baltic region to support teachers and students to find and access these solutions.
From tracking the spread of the disease, to symptom checking, to clinical testing, HealthTech applications are already tackling the immediate, evolving healthcare challenges triggered by Covid-19. But, there is also increasing strain on the capacity of our healthcare systems. The challenge is to ensure that the capacity of health and care staff is being appropriately measured and communicated, and volunteers are mobilised to enable the care system to efficiently allocate the care capacity we have to those that need it most.
There is a large population of older and other high risk people, many of whom rely on medication, hospital appointments, informal/unpaid carers, and paid carers to maintain their physical and mental health. They have been asked to isolate at home and stay away from other people in case they contract COVID-19. This means they won’t be able to get the practical and social support they need. As the care sector faces greater burdens, citizens will also require new ways to manage and treat existing mental health conditions. The challenge is to ensure there is sufficient support for the elderly and vulnerable to easily find and access support at any time of the day.
Employment & Work
In response to uncertainties around Covid-19, a large proportion of the workforce has shifted to working remotely. This has created a range of challenges as employees struggle with reduced access to managerial support and communication. Businesses are looking for new ways to ensure well-being among colleagues as employees miss the social interaction of an office setting. Companies also need to find new ways of conducting business and generating revenue, while managing a growing number of sick employees.
Finance & Welfare
Citizens are under greater pressure to manage their finances effectively. Some employees will face redundancy or temporary leave from their jobs, making it difficult to pay their rent, purchase food and essential supplies, or pay for bills. Those who are dependent on welfare payments will find themselves struggling to access credit and receive government welfare benefits.
Support for Startups
Small businesses and startups will be heavily affected by the economic consequences of Covid-19. Countries across the Nordic region have introduced financial support for small businesses such as liquidity, employee relief and loans among other measures. We will outline the key measures available to startups and seek to understand the financial challenges they face to survive over the next few months.