The Finnish one-stop shop providing well-being data for research

In the future; researchers, services developers and companies will be able to obtain anonymised well-being data from a one central source. This could speed up the development of new medicines and treatments. In the first of a series of blogs and videos from Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund, Jaana Sinipuro, Project Director, Digital Health Hub at Sitra outlines how this will this be possible and why more medical researchers should be looking towards Finland.

Thanks to its unique data reserves, Finland, which recently celebrated 100 years of independence, is becoming a focal point of research and business.

The country’s healthcare registers contain vast information including valuable genome data and other research material. The use of unique individual personal identity codes is producing fascinating research cohorts, making daily work easier for researchers and developers without compromising data security.

The data is handled in a specific data lake and will not be disclosed to external parties. It can then be collected from several sources and combined, but it will not be possible to identify individuals in the final result.

It is hoped the project will provide information on the available data and guidance for its use, with research permits being applied for in the same place and being granted to parties that fulfil the criteria determined by law. A public authority will be responsible for this operation.

This process is currently underway but for secure use of this data legislative reform and extensive co-operation is required. Sitra the Finnish Innovation Fund, along with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and other authorities, companies and organisations are hoping to launch the project towards the end of 2018.

Jaana Sinipuro will be speaking at the Nordic Precision Medicine Forum in March 2018. You can register for the event here and take advantage of a 30% ‘early bird’ discount.

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