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Sitra’s USA Trio Tour: tomorrow’s health is already here

A trip to the US promises to bolster Sitra's position as a forerunner in world health and well-being.


Pia Heikkurinen

Specialist, Fair data economy

Jukka Vahti

Project Director, Digital power and democracy


How can we combine different kinds of health and well-being data to produce even better services? How can we lower unnecessary barriers to co-operation between services? Will artificial intelligence and genome data meet the expectations placed on them? What is Finnish Data Design, and why does it have the potential to revolutionise well-being data and enable the development of new kinds of services and service ecosystems in Finland and around the world?

The Finnish think-and-do-tank Sitra has looked for, and found, answers to these questions.

Curiosity, learning and new kinds of boundary-breaking partnerships are vital to the development of nations, organisations and individuals.

Gaining and sharing information and ideas is also the goal of Sitra’s USA Trio Tour from 27 February to 10 March. During the tour, Sitra consultants will learn about the latest innovations in health technology and services at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas, one of the biggest health technology events in the world, and at The Future of Genomic Medicine seminar, which will be hosted by the Scripps Institute in San Diego. The programme for the tour also includes a visit to IBM’s Client Executive Centre in New York.

So, what about the answers to those questions posed at the start? Based on our recent projects, artificial intelligence really can considerably improve the treatment of rare diseases. Genome data has been proven effective in preventing the most common cause of death in Finland, cardiovascular disease. We were also involved in drawing up Finland’s National Genome Strategy, which is aimed at making extensive use of genome data to promote public health in Finland in the coming years. We also co-hosted the first course focusing on the use of genome data for medical students in Helsinki. The course was extremely well received by the students.

This is where you can find our extensive PowerPoint presentation (in English) on why Finland could make the best genomic test environment in the world for medical companies. The presentation can be downloaded free of charge.

We have also developed and tested a virtual clinic concept, which has recently been adopted as the basis for new nationwide e-health services.

Our latest project, Isaacus – Well-being Service Provider, is aimed at making Finland a global pioneer in the use of well-being data.

More information on these and our other work relating to health and well-being is available at, and a presentation video on Sitra can be found here.

If you want to keep up to date on the progress of Isaacus and our other projects, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

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