Lappeenranta was founded in 1649 and has today a population of 72 038. The town covers an area of 1 723 km2. Lappeenranta is the centre of the South Karelia region in south-east Finland. The economic development of the city has been favourable, especially in the service sector. Lappeenranta counts among the main training and education centres in Finland.
Lappeenranta City social and health services promote citizens’ independent and equal social life and good health by arranging good quality and versatile basic services for the inhabitants. The services emphasises preventive care and also direct people to ask for special services.
In South Karelia health and social services are closely integrated together. The South Karelia District of Social and Health Services (Eksote), established in 2009, combines primary and secondary healthcare, elderly care and social care in a totally new way. The goal of this new organization is to ensure equal access to social and healthcare services to all citizens in the region, across the boundaries of municipalities. The effectiveness of service delivery will be enhanced thanks to better co-operation of different social and healthcare organisations. One of the goals in South Karelia is to emphasize the importance of preventive healthcare and to empower citizens to take more responsibility of their own health and well-being.
Municipality of Lappeenranta has represented both the public community and the end-users in several international development projects, such as ISISEMD (Intelligent System for Independent living and Self-care of seniors with cognitive problems or Mild Dementia). In this project a system enabling video calls using a computer was utilised, enhancing the communication between home and care environments. Safety alarms and access control technologies were used for assisting people with dementia in living at their homes. Additionally intelligent medicine dosing systems and intelligent packaging methods were developed in South Karelia under this project.
South Karelia health and social services is also one of the main participants in KEKSI project (2010 – 2013), which enables the development of multi-channel electronic services for social welfare and healthcare. The project involves four hospital districts in the provinces of South Karelia, Etelä-Savo and Kymenlaakso. The project area covers nearly 10 per cent of the population in Finland and employs over 10.000 social welfare and healthcare professionals. The project has enabled the region to develop a new form of cooperation, which has resulted in an agreement on providing a uniform implementation of policies and electronic well-being services to serve citizens, public healthcare as well as social and civic services. As a result project produces services such as risk tests, health history forms, a secure dialogue between a professional and a patient, electronic self-announcement and various SMS services. Digital Services, health information acquisition, self-health monitoring and online services will be presented to citizen’s trough common and shared health portal (Hyvis.fi).