In 2013 and 2014 Sitra funded two data exchange layer trial runs in Espoo and Lahti, carried out as part of the planning for a common national ICT (information and communications technology) service architecture, led by the Ministry of Finance. The data exchange layer is an ICT solution providing a common way of exchanging information that both public and private organisations can use. A common data exchange layer enables, for example, the exploitation of the existing information resources of public organisations for the production of a wide range of services.

The planned solution provides safe and seamless access to data from personal files, medical records and authorities’ registers via a common data exchange layer, for those who need it and who are authorised to view the information. The information is always retrieved from the original source and accessible from several locations in real time. A data exchange layer provides private individuals with access to their personal data and, within certain limitations, the opportunity to update the information. This model was sourced from Estonia with the aim of finding a cost-efficient way of increasing the provision of electronic services and making them run more smoothly.

The trials in Espoo and Lahti tested the feasibility of the Estonian solution (X-road) for serving the data exchange and ICT needs in the organisation and provision of Finnish social welfare and healthcare services. The necessary information can be made accessible through the layer via various systems designed for different functions. In Espoo, the resources of the nursing sector’s core information systems were made additionally available via the mobile information management system used by home care services. In Lahti, the trial run focused on the automation of sending medical referrals between health care organizations.

The trials were completed in May 2014. The long-term goal is the utilisation of a common data exchange layer solution that serves cross-sectoral needs.

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Antti Kivelä
Kirsi Suomalainen
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

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