• News
  • People
  • Long Read
  • Opinion
  • Weekend Wrap

News Spotlight

Finland making a name for itself worldwide in healthcare

Helsinki University Hospital has continued to cement its status as one of the best hospitals in the world.HUS

Four Finnish hospitals have landed on a list of the world’s best hospitals by Newsweek. Finnish companies, meanwhile, are enabling hospitals around the globe to elevate their level of care with cutting-edge solutions.

The American weekly published what it believes could be the “most important” edition of its ranking, the World’s Best Hospitals 2021.

Helsinki University Hospital climbed four positions from the previous year to 21st, the third-highest ranking in the Nordics and the ninth highest in Europe. Turku University Hospital and Tampere University Hospital both fell narrowly short of reaching the top 50, the former landing 54th and the latter 66th.

Kuopio University Hospital, in turn, was placed in the 101–200 bracket of the ranking powered by Statista.

Topped by the US-based Mayo Clinic, the ranking is based on the recommendations of medical experts, results of patient surveys and medical key performance indicators of hospitals. The final order is determined by an independent international board of medical experts established by Statista.

Tampere University Hospital recently underwent an overhaul and expansion that transformed the entire hospital complex. Image: SRV

Newsweek reminded that the scores are only comparable between hospitals in the same country because it is impossible to harmonise the data derived from different sources on patient experiences and performance indicators.

Raising the bar worldwide

Finnish health technology knowhow is also used increasingly by hospitals around the world to improve the level of care they offer to patients.

Planmed in March reported that its orthopaedic scanner has been introduced at Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital in Shenzhen, China. Called Planmed Verity, the scanner utilises advanced cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) technology to deliver faster, safer and more accurate diagnostic capabilities and enable high-quality images of bone and soft tissue with low radiation doses – even under natural load, such as with the patient sitting or standing.

This weight-bearing imaging is specifically what opens a world of possibilities for knee, foot and ankle specialists in particular, by allowing them to examine the area of interest in the exact position that causes discomfort to the patient, according to the 50-year-old developer of medical and dental care solutions.

Planmed, part of Planmeca, expects its scanner to become a great success also in China. Image: Planmed

“CBCT as an imaging technology has been labelled as the single most revolutionary technology in medical imaging in decades, and we are sure it will have great success in China,” stated Atte Lötjönen of Planmed, the medical imaging arm of Planmeca.

Zora Biosciences, a clinical diagnostics company based in Espoo, announced last month that a coronary event risk test based on its patented ceramide analysis technology will be introduced across the US by Fortune 500-listed Quest Diagnostics. The test will be principally utilised to identify patients at risk of coronary events and, as a result, promote the early detection and prevention of events such as stroke and heart attack.

Cardiovascular diseases, it highlighted, place a significant burden on people and healthcare systems around the world, causing annual costs of about 220 billion dollars in the US.

Reini Hurme, CEO of Zora Biosciences, added that alleviating the burden on healthcare systems by investing in prevention, early detection and effective intervention will be ever more important in the post-pandemic world.

“The deal with Quest may bring us millions in revenue, but this will have an even greater financial impact on healthcare in the US,” saidReijo Laaksonen, chief medical officer at Zora Biosciences.

Zora Biosciences has signed a deal that “validates” the potential of its coronary event risk test in the world’s largest laboratory diagnostics market, the US, rejoices CEO Reini Hurme. “It isn’t a small but a big miracle.” Image: Zora Biosciences

Another Finnish medical device garnering attention globally is Nelli Pro, an artificial intelligence-powered patient monitoring solution developed by Neuro Event Labs. The Tampere-based company revealed recently that the solution will be implemented across the paediatric, adult and epilepsy monitoring units of Filadelfia Epilepsy Hospital in Dianalund, Denmark.

The solution detects visual and auditory cues from patients and processes them through its proprietary algorithms to notify hospital staff about any potential events and seizures requiring attention.

“This contract is a milestone in the development of the company and takes us one step further on our mission to help patients whose lives are touched by epilepsy by building tools which help the doctor to see seizures clearly,” commented Glen Fotland, COO at Neuro Event Labs.

Neuro Event Labs’ Nelli Pro platform accurately diagnoses epileptic and non-epileptic events to help identify the correct treatment path. Image: Neuro Event Labs

Buddy Healthcare, a Finnish specialist in hospital—patient communication, stated last week it will step up its internationalisation efforts with the help of two million euros in newly secured growth capital. The capital, it elaborated, will be used to increase the sales of its platform for automatic care coordination especially in Germany and the UK.

Also it pointed to the coronavirus pandemic as a factor adding urgency to efforts to optimise the use of hospital resources.

“The urgency for automation is more pressing than ever due to the COVID-19 crisis,” argued CEO Jussi Määttä. “For example, in Germany the government has already earmarked four billion euros to support the digitalisation of hospitals.”

One of Buddy Healthcare’s the new backers is Sweden’s Nidoco.

“The reason for the investment is the trend of process optimisation enabled by healthcare digitalisation, which benefits hospitals and other service providers alike,” told Nidoco’s CEO, Patrick Castrén. “Buddy Healthcare offers a product that is highly competitive, even in the global market, as well as a team full of engaged and experienced professionals.”

Osgenic and Kaiku Health recognised at IDC Health Awards

Osgenic, a Finnish provider of virtual reality-based training for surgeons, triumphed in the Creating Trust category at the 2021 IDC Health Awards in Austria on 25 March.
– The company has set out to make surgeries safer for patients and physicians alike by ensuring the surgeons have a high enough number of repetitions under their belt before making their first incision on a real patient.
– “We’ve taken a bit of a different approach [than our rivals]: we focus first and foremost on anatomy and reviewing complications,” Aarne Schlenzka, the founder of Osgenic, told Helsingin Sanomat.
Kaiku Health, in turn, was recognised for a solution that simultaneously enables the monitoring of patient-reported outcomes and support of patients throughout cancer treatment with a win in the Health Literacy category.
– The Finnish company was acquired in February by Elekta, paving the way for the solution to reach several new markets.
– “Together with Elekta, we can offer patient symptom management for optimised cancer care and improve the quality of lives of people living with cancer,” said Lauri Sippola, CEO of Kaiku Health.

By: Aleksi Teivainen