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Strategic research area The Strategic Research Area, Health Care Science (SFO-V) is a collaboration between Umeå University (UMU) and Karolinska Institutet (KI). The purpose is to strengthen and develop the collaboration between health care science and health care providers through high-quality research and activities that promote collaborations, knowledge exchange, and social innovation.

SFO-V's four core research areas


Co-creation - of services, processes and products refers to collaborative activities and approaches that strive to facilitate users, i.e., any stakeholder in issues related to health, disease and illness, working together on equal terms to create value, based on their different types of knowledge and experience.


Self-management - refers to a person’s ability to manage the symptoms, treatment, physical and psychological consequences, and life-style changes inherent in living with a health condition.


eHealth - refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health and health-related fields, including health care services, health surveillance, health communication, health education and research.


Bio-behavioural health care science - refers to the intercept of health care sciences with biological and behavioural sciences, to study the complex interactions among biological, social, behavioural and environmental factors and their effects on outcome to address issues of relevance for health care sciences.

SFO-V, jointly led by UMU and KI, aims to develop collaborations between health care science, health care providers and the business sector, as well as to renew and expand education at advanced- and doctoral level.

This is achieved by funding research and activities that promote collaborations and involve stakeholders from different areas in the development of processes, services and products. The work is reinforced through an active engagement from the public health care providers in Regions Västerbotten and Stockholm, and the city of Stockholm.

Health care research is vital for increased knowledge of health promotion, preventive measures, nursing and rehabilitation, as well as the organization and management of health care. Today, more survive previously fatal injuries and diseases, people live longer, and new methods lead to prospects of increased quality of life - yet care costs for the individual and society remain high.

Research in health care science

Health care research is a young science that has undergone substantial development over the past four decades. From a handful of persons with doctoral degrees, there are now thousands of health care researchers in universities and university colleges. Today, health care science is an established science with interdisciplinary research within internationally renowned research environments.

Today's health care research provides new, scientifically based knowledge of great benefit to patients and end users, not least by promoting a translation of results into practice. This creates excellent opportunities to meet the future societal challenges we face in health and welfare.

The overall vision for SFO-V is to ensure that development and the health care provided are based on high-quality healthcare research. The health care research within SFO-V at Umu and KI, in collaboration with other universities, both nationally and internationally, has excellent possibilities to contribute to evidence-based care.

Local steering group Umeå

Senada Hajdarevic
Professor, combined with clinical employment
Annika Toots
Associate professor, combined with clinical employment


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Nursing

Research area

Public health and health care science
Latest update: 2024-07-01