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A wealth of opportunities for healthcare cooperation between Finland and India

The seminar Innovations for affordable healthcare – Focus on emphatic India brought together healthcare professionals from Finland and India.


The seminar Innovations for affordable healthcare – Focus on empathic India brought together healthcare professionals from Finland and India to Finlandia Hall on 14 March 2008. It focused on questions concerning primary health care, health records and the use of telemedicine. The event offered the participants a chance to discuss the healthcare needs and competencies of the two countries.

The healthcare challenges facing India and Finland are very different. While Finland is struggling with increased healthcare costs, falling productivity and a shrinking workforce, which are due to an ageing population, India is facing challenges brought about by enormous population growth and a rapidly changing society.

However, brisk economic growth, expertise, service production and a population of 1.2-billion people all make India an attractive country in view of both international business and research and development projects.

In his speech, Esko Aho, President of Sitra, pointed out that the ability to harness and make concrete use of the benefits provided by technological development is one of the most important preconditions for developing healthcare. Crucial to all cases of change is being systematic, change management and commitment to the process. India, like China, is another important market area. Changes can be adopted even quite quickly, as shown, for example, by the rapid spread of mobile phones in India.

The participants also learned more about the high standards of medical expertise in India through a video lecture given by Doctor Devi Prasad Shetty. He showed that a country need not be rich in order to be able to make use of the latest technology in healthcare. He talked about heart hospitals established for newborns which use state-of-the art technology in heart surgery, and the “Health City” concept for setting up specialised hospitals for 5,000 people in the capitals of all Indian states. Doctor Shetty is also in charge of the world’s largest telemedicine programme and provides consultancy to 23 localities through the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The latest ICT practices in healthcare were presented in the seminar by several companies. The presentations included Nokia-Siemens Networks and the transfer of health information in remote areas, promoting medicine based on the use of Duodecim’s Terveyskirjasto healthcare library, Medixine’s growth screen, which is an example of investigating the health of the child population, a national patient archive and the patient’s own information management: the Cel AManz health capsule.

The outcome of the seminar’s closing discussions was that there is a demand in India for advanced Finnish healthcare technologies, processes and services. The next step is to establish contacts in order to look for new partners and business opportunities and to discover the cooperation, investment and financing alternatives available through different parties.

The seminar was the third event in the “The Essence of India” series, which is arranged by Sitra. The final seminar “Inclusive India” will be held in Helsinki on April 15, 2008.

Further information

Timo Haikonen, Business Director, Sitra, tel. +358-50 528 2568, e-mail:

»» Seminar material