Telemedicine pilot projects

On 9 November 2020, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) announced a call for telemedicine pilot projects to accelerate the introduction of user-friendly and high-benefit telemedicine services. The call supported the development, early implementation, and impact assessment of new integrated service models including telemedicine services. In addition, new reimbursement models were tested that would allow the introduction of telemedicine service models following the successful completion of a pilot. 

Projects submitted to the pilot project call had to meet one or more of the following development needs of the Estonian healthcare system: (a) chronic disease management, (b) treatment continuity improvement, (c) availability of mental health support services improvement.

The indicative budget for the competition was 1,000,000 euros. Pilot projects were funded by the EHIF's Innovation Fund. Teams who received funding were chosen through a two-stage application round. The applications were evaluated in both rounds by a broad-based evaluation committee that in addition to the Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Social Affairs, also included the representatives of the Estonian Association of Young Doctors, the Patients' Union, the Estonian Chamber of Disabled People, research institutions, as well as innovation and health system experts. 

33 project ideas were submitted in the first round. Of that, 10 teams were chosen and they received 10,000 euros for the preparation of the pilot, including developing the initial idea further, on-boarding various partners and preparing a detailed action plan and schedule. The EHIF offered the teams a support program consisting of a service design workshop, an impact assessment study design, a mentoring day, and opportunities for project teams to exchange their experiences.

Ten teams submitted their proposals in the second phase and of those, four projects were chosen who received additional funding to carry out pilots. Read more about the four pilots here.  The second phase was divided into two stages: preparation for the implementation of telemedicine model (1 May 2021 to 31 December 2021) and implementation phase (1 January 2022 to 30 June 2023). In the preparatory stage, grants were used for the development of a telemedicine model, conducting a feasibility study, and preparing for the impact assessment study of the telemedicine model. In the implementation stage, grants were provided to cover the administrative and development costs related to the impact assessment of the telemedicine model.

At the end of the implementation phase, the pilot project teams submitted their final reports, which included the results of the impact assessment study. On September 26, 2023, the first evaluation round took place, focusing on projects carried out in primary care. On November 15, 2023, the second evaluation round took place, focusing on projects carried out in specialized medical care. On March 27, 2024, the closing of the pilot project competition took place.

For more information and instructions please reach out to: kristin.kuusk [at]

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