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Five from Finland

HIMSS Europe Conference

It has been a very healthy week in Helsinki.

Julia Bushueva

The best digital innovations in healthcare were presented this week in Helsinki by experts and fresh startups dedicated to developing the industry that keeps us healthy.

According to the experts at the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Conference, patient outcome should be the driving force for development. Therefore, attendees were able to familiarise themselves with the latest international innovations in healthcare, patient care, digital healthcare solutions, big data, analytics, AI and machine learning.

Business Finland’s media tours team, Finnfacts, invited journalists from around the globe to learn why the Finnish cutting-edge approach to healthcare is getting pulses racing in the field.

Here are five Finnish solutions that are just what the doctor ordered!

The aim of this service is to offer knowledge and support to all those in need, care for those that require it and tools for professionals. Co-created between patients and experts, the online service also covers specialised hospital care.  Virtual houses offering different services for different symptoms and events are found within the platform.

The platform is designed to ease the monitoring of quality of life, symptoms and lifestyles, and to ease living with long-term diseases. The service emphasises the importance of instant communication and proactive care.

Health Village favours service design over AI and coding and was the winner of the Outstanding ICT Achievement Award at the event.

“Our ambition is to facilitate patient-expert encounters that are tailored to fit the need of specific customers and patients,” stated development manager Heta Kolanen. “Our platform is a comprehensive digital solution for healthcare that not only enriches patient outcomes, but also helps professionals develop treatments and means for proactive care.”

According to professor Aarno Palotie, research director at FIMM, one of the biggest challenges in medicine development are the long time spans that scientists have to work with. Founded on the belief that genetics can help expedite this process, Finngen is a collective research project where, by submitting their sample, anyone can contribute to meaningful findings and help people around the globe.

Finns are in a good position to lead the way thanks to a unique genetic isolate, supportive legislation and comprehensive health records, and thus more likely to make meaningful medical discoveries than people in other parts of the world.

“The Finngen project is an excellent start, but the full potential of this initiative can only be reached through global collaboration,” Palotie outlined.

Artificial intelligence made easy. The people at Aiforia have created an image analysis software that lets users develop their own deep-learning AI models for identifying patterns in images, without having any experience in coding.

“Our unique and intuitive interface makes the software easy to use, and, in an industry where saving time means saving lives, the faster professionals can adopt a service, the better they can provide care,” explained Emma Vehviläinen, content marketing manager.

Aiforia has already been applied in fields such as pharmaceutical research and development, cancer research, neuroscience and pathology.

Bridging the gap between technology and human touch. This service is designed to improve the quality of live for cancer patients. Kaiku Health is a platform for personalised digital health interventions created for people trying to cope with cancer.

Through efficient communication and proactive care, the platform has already affected the lives of patients in a good way.

“We’ve reached levels that some drugs have not reached, which goes to show how important communication and human contact is in healthcare,” said CEO Lauri Sippola.

With its name meaning “at home” in English, this service aims to provide digital healthcare for the elderly and people living with dementia in their own homes. Developed by the Service Centre of the City of Helsinki, the programme already takes care of 250 000 patient contacts every month.

According to development manager Jere Finne, preventive care looms in the near future, and not only does the Kotona programme provide the means for easier preventive care, it also allows the elderly to remain independent.

“Remote care is an essential part of Helsinki’s future,” Finne concluded.

By: Zhanna Koiviola