Most advanced clinical testbed in the world
Digitalization will put the patient at the center of health processes – making disease prevention as important as cure, delivering care from the hospital to the home. This is what we call digital health – and in Finland it is happening now. Famous for high tech in IT and communications, Finland has the world´s highest number of digital health startups relative to the size of the country. GE Healthcare recently chose Helsinki as its global digital health development center – proof that Finland is top in tight international comparisons. Finland has been one of the pioneers in health-related digitalization; indeed, national health registries have been held in databases since the 1960’s.
Today, Finland’s public healthcare system boasts an electronic healthcare record (EHR) penetration of 100%. The first tissue samples were collected for Finnish biobanks almost 100 years ago. Thus, Finland offers a unique genome which makes the country and its population an interesting subject for research. People take part willingly in medical studies and allow the use of their personal data for research and R&D. By enacting the Biobank Act, the first law of its kind in Europe to apply to all the biobanks in one country, Finland has effectively reduced the time to market for new drugs, technologies and solutions. Finland is now in a unique position to allow the launch of commercial genome services and it is no surprise that even the largest companies are showing keen interest. In 2015, Turku-based Auria was the first Finnish biobank to sign a collaboration contract with a global life sciences’ player, Bayer Pharma AG.