Value from Nordic health data – VALO

The use of health data will become easier in the coming years as new European Union legislation comes into force. The VALO project, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, aims to establish common principles in the Nordic countries for implementing the European Health Data Space regulations, streamline RDI activities and test the use of data across country borders.

What is it about?

Health data has long been used in the Nordic countries for research, development and innovation. The utilisation of the data has often been difficult, especially in situations where it is necessary to obtain information from patient registers in several countries.
The European Union is working to remove the barriers of cross-border data use with the upcoming European Health Data Space (EHDS).

The Nordic countries’ strengths lie in the quality of their social and health data registers, collected over a long period of time, and in their secure use. The use of personal identifiers makes it easy to link data from several registers. In addition, the Nordic countries adopted electronic health record systems relatively early.

The Nordic Council of Ministers launched the VALO (Value for Nordic Health Data) project, which aims to establish common principles for the implementation of the European Health Data Space regulation, and to explore ways to make the most of the opportunities offered by Nordic cooperation in research, development and innovation (RDI). The aim is to strengthen the Nordic countries’ leading position and competitiveness in this field.

What do we do?

The VALO project will build on the Nordic countries’ solid experience in the secondary use of health data and create guidelines for vibrant RDI activities in a changing environment, both in the short and long term. Secondary use refers, for example, to the use of patient data for purposes other than individual care, such as research, development and education.

The project will conduct research based on federated analysis using the international OMOP common data model to harmonise data from patient registers. In federated analysis, data is analysed at its location, in this case in at least three Nordic countries. The pilot is also intended to concretise value creation.

The project has four main objectives:

  1. to strengthen Nordic cooperation and the use of health data in research, development and innovation
  2. to jointly prepare for the European Health Data Space by starting to implement changes and reforms and sharing best practices
  3. to test in practice and demonstrate the effectiveness of cross-border Nordic cooperation in the use of health data
  4. to achieve and maintain Nordic leadership in the secondary use of health data

Results arising from the VALO project.

The project is fully funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The project started on 1 February 2024 and is due to end on 31 October 2026.

Who is involved?

VALO is a joint project between Finland, Iceland and Sweden, with Norway and Denmark as observers with access to all project materials and the possibility to participate in meetings.

The following organisations are involved in the project:

Contact us

The coordinating team

Saara Malkamäki
Specialist, Well-being solutions
Markus Kalliola
Project Director, Well-being solutions
Sofia Marin
Specialist, Well-being solutions
Kirsi Suomalainen
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

What's this about?