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"We would not be where we are today if we didn't have a design-driven approach to everything we do"

An early and continuous investment in design skills and a constant focus on ecosystems and the end user has ensured the Danish company Emento an ethical and lasting digital product in the healthcare sector. The approach is paying off: after six years in Denmark, the company is expanding to Germany and just won the first Danish Data Ethics Prize

Emento is a product platform that improves patient quality and employee job satisfaction. Emento has developed the Digital Care Guide for the Danish healthcare sector in collaboration with selected hospitals.

The company was established in Denmark in 2016. They expanded to Germany in 2022.

Employees: 26 in Denmark, 14 in Germany
Established: 2016
mikkel from emento

Photo: Emento

Emento fundamentally works to solve one of our biggest demographic welfare challenges. The group of elderly citizens is growing, and the development will inevitably increase the pressure and use of our healthcare system.

Emento started with the process of calling patients to the hospital. Today, hospitals send a digital letter to citizens’ e-Boks.

“But that is just taking an analog process and 1:1, making it digital. We re-thought the whole process and the actual service the hospital provides – how can we improve that if it’s all digital?,” says Mikkel Bech, Founder of Emento.

From the outset, Mikkel and his colleagues took a classic service design approach to the challenge:

“We want to build a service that we want to use ourselves. So we are constantly putting ourselves in the end user’s place – as a nurse, doctor, and citizen.”

The design approach has been crucial to the company’s success and international expansion:

“We would not be where we are today if we did not have a design-driven approach to everything we do – our leadership, business model, strategy, and product development. Design is in everything,” Mikkel Bech states.

The Results: Happier patients and staff and reduced costs

Working in healthcare, trust, and ethics are crucial to Emento’s product. We worked with the company when we developed our toolkit, The Digital Ethics Compass. Emento played an essential role in testing and proofing the tool.

Some of the results that Emento have already achieved include but are not limited to:

  • Over 100,000 completed courses with Emento’s Digital Process Guide with more than 50,000 patients
  • A documented positive effect on the patients
  • When patients use the process guide from Emento, communication between patients and therapists is improved. That means that patient satisfaction increases and that the patients take more responsibility for their process
  • For the clinical staff, the Digital Process Guide means they get more time for the patients, positively affecting job satisfaction
  • For the hospitals, there is a direct, positive financial effect when the hospitalization time decreases.

Dive into more results and cases from Emento here.

On top of that, Emento won the first Data Ethics Prize in Denmark in November 2023. 

According to the jury, Emento won the award because they “take users along in the development to ensure that their needs are paramount and that their health information is treated with care and responsibility. At the same time, Emento’s solution saves time and money in the Danish healthcare system.”

Though Mikkel Bech and his team are honored by the prize and words, the most essential results come straight from their users:

“Nothing beats hearing what the nurses say about our product. They say it’s fun and not usual IT – because it’s made for them and with them.”

He adds:

“Our Digital Care Guide has given them a new understanding of being a nurse. That’s what design thinking is about – including whole ecosystems, taking the end user seriously, and building thousands of prototypes. We make the product fit reality, not the other way around.”

The Approach: Design ensures an ethical product

The design approach has been essential in getting the company to where it is today. And to Mikkel and the team, the methodology of service design and design thinking includes ecosystems and the end user in every step – which makes ethics and data protection a naturally integrated aspect of their solutions.

“Now, we’re mature enough to look back at our processes and realize that our design approach ensures a constant presence of empathy and ethics in our development and end product. We can’t NOT put ourselves in our end user’s place, and looking back, this is an approach we’re now operationalizing strategically,” says Mikkel Bech.

Emento’s DPO (Data Protection Officer) was among their first hires.

“When we did that in 2017, people were like, why? But we just knew this was the way to go, and we had to be ahead,” Mikkel Bech explains.

The early investment meant that ethics and data protection are central to Emento’s business and product development today – and continue to be a crucial investment area.

“Ethics is so integrated into our operations that all the GDPR laws are fine, but we are way beyond that. We want to take it to the next level – and the design approach is crucial to get to that level.”

Emento is getting interest from Japan and Germany – where they opened their first office in 2022. And to Mikkel and his colleagues, there is no doubt that their expert focus on ethics is paramount to the growing and lasting interest.

“I can’t tell you that our success is due to making this or that specific design exercise. It’s so integrated into our business and has been from the beginning. That’s also part of why Germany has their eyes on us now. It’s just a different product than you usually meet in the healthcare system,” Mikkel Bech says.

The Challenge: Changing the healthcare system through design

When you compare Denmark to other countries, we are highly digitized. But when we look at ourselves, there are still plenty of services to improve.

Fundamentally, Emento has only just begun to tap into its business potential:

“We aim to stop seeing the citizens and patients like victims when they are in the healthcare system. The citizens have a lot of resources to bring to the table in these processes, and they are willing to utilize them. There’s a huge unused potential here that I think we are not seeing and benefiting from as a society. And for us as a business, it’s clear that we can change something with our product on this.”

How to get started: The Digital Ethics Compass

“People often ask us how to implement ethics into your business. I’ll always point to The Digital Ethics Compass as a great place to start,” says Mikkel Bech.

“Look at the toolkit and start at the exercise that makes the most sense to your situation. And then slowly expand the use of it. When you first start, it’s easy to see and feel the relevance and effects.”

To Mikkel, exercises 3, 4, 6, and 7 are closely related to Emento’s way of operating. But he stresses that they have invested in and, not least, prioritized ethics from the beginning and continue to do so.

Get inspired by three things Emento does to keep training the ethics muscle to the right →

Try The Digital Ethics Compass here


The management group dedicates one day a week to data ethics and security, focusing on development and evaluation.


Constant micro-exercises to train the employees’ attention and continuous discussions of the subject in joint meetings.

Fire Drills

Full-day training for all employees in data security and handling emergencies.

Christina Melander

Director of Digital Transition

Phone +45 2946 2922
Social LinkedIn

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