Tapani Piha brings EU health policy expertise and knowledge of European networks to Sitra’s Health Data 2030 team and the Joint Action Towards European Health Data Space project TEHDAS. Following initial experience in the Finnish health administration in the 1980s, Tapani worked in the European Commission for 17 years and served as Head of Unit for 14 years. At the commission he promoted many policy initiatives and also worked as Head of Human Resources. In the early 1990s he led the Action Plan for a Tobacco-Free Europe at the World Health Organization, and after Finland joined the EU in 1995, he co-ordinated Finland’s EU policies in health.
After gaining a degree in medicine, Tapani specialised in public health. The digital world has been at the centre of his interests since the 1970s and the digital transformation of our societies continues to fascinate him. In 1988, he was asked to develop a plan for digital services for the Finnish Medical Association. Then, in the EU Commission, he was tasked with the promotion of digital transformation in health and care across the union. He has worked on a range of topics, from setting up the European Reference Networks for rare diseases and implementing the directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare to developing policies on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and organ transplantation.
You will see Tapani biking to all events and in all weather conditions, while indoors he will take the stairs no matter which floor he has to reach. In addition, he is an incurable optimist. An activist in his school and university years, he continues to do voluntary work with a number of associations. He enjoys trying to understand megatrends in society and studying meta-history, while science fiction has inspired him to think the unthinkable.