Kuva: Miikka Pirinen

Published December 12, 2017

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

In future, researchers, services developers and companies will be able to obtain anonymised well-being data from a one-stop shop in Finland. This will considerably speed up the development of new medicines and treatments. How will this be possible? Why should researchers be dealing with the Finns?
Writer
Project Director, The Digital Health HUB, Sitra
Jaana Sinipuro is an experienced ICT enthusiast, who leads Sitra’s Digital Health HUB focus area.

Thanks to its unique data reserves, Finland, which recently celebrated its centenary, is becoming one of the most interesting places in the world from the point of view of research and business.

“Why?”, you’re asking.

Because the healthcare registers in Finland contain information that goes back a long time. Valuable genome data and other interesting research material have also been collected by the registers and can, thanks to a unique individual personal identity code, be used to create cohorts that are interesting from the point of view of research.

The one-stop shop service currently being prepared to ensure smooth and secure use of this data requires legislative reform and extensive co-operation. Finland has enthusiastically undertaken this work and the service should be available for researchers towards the end of 2018. Sitra the Finnish Innovation Fund is participating in preparing the service, together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and other authorities, companies and organisations.

Easier daily work for researchers and developers without compromising data security

A public authority will be responsible for the operation of the one-stop shop service intended for researchers. In future, the service will provide information on the available data and guidance for its use. Research permits can be applied for in the same place and permits can be granted to parties that fulfil the criteria determined by law.

The data is handled in a secure environment and will not be disclosed to external parties as such. Data can be collected from several sources and combined, but it will not be possible to identify individuals in the final result. The everyday work of researchers and developers will be made considerably easier without compromising data security.

This is the first part of our series of videos related to the 2nd Annual Nordic Precision Medicine Forum event that will be held in Copenhagen on 20 and 21 March 2018.

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