Smart Health

A man in green scrubs and VR glasses operating medical equipment with woman watching in background

Photo: Eeva Anundi

The Story

For decades,  Finland has invested hundreds of millions of euros per year in health-related education, research, and research infrastructure. This has created cutting-edge Finnish research and treatment in such specialist areas as cancer, brain disease, cardiovascular disease and genetics.  Finland is also one of the first countries in the world to set up a national digital patient data repository covering both the public and private healthcare sectors.

Instead of forming an obstacle,  Finland’s isolated gene pool is one of the reasons Finland has become a global leader in digital health. Finnish people’s genetic composition permits a unique research setting in light of these facts: a  30-year history of sample collection exists100% of patient records are available in digital form; and  biobank data is combinable with patient records and national healthcare registries. All this is backed up by universal healthcare, homogenious care guidelines, and legislation providing access to health data. Finns also have a  positive attitude about medical research and trust medical professionals; willingness to take part in medical research is generally high.

Finland is one of the world’s best ecosystems for health research and development. According to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2016–17, Finland is number one in availability of scientists and engineers; the latest technology; and collaboration between universities and industry in research and development. It’s no wonder  Finland ranks among the three strongest health-technology economies in the world, while digital health is its largest high-tech export. Finnish health-tech solutions are not only developed, but also largely manufactured, in Finland.

Future health comes from Finland.