Health through data
We are building the sustainable well-being of tomorrow and strengthening the use of social and health data in Finland and Europe in collaboration with the operators in the sector.
What is it about?
Considerable saving targets have been set for social welfare and healthcare spending, while the need for services is growing due to an ageing population, and healthcare staff are already stretched to the limit. During the Covid-19 pandemic, health data Health data Health data is ‘data concerning health’ means personal data related to the physical or mental health of a person, including the provision of health care services, which reveal information about his or her health status. Open term page Health data was used extensively, including at the highest levels of decision-making. This also highlighted the need to improve the quality of data and accessibility of health data across European borders.
Better use of data is one of the tools that can maintain and even improve the quality of social welfare and health services while saving society money. In the health sector, in particular, the potential of data has long been understood. Finland is already well advanced in this area and is seen as a pioneer internationally. In the European Union, a single market for data is being developed with a common Health Data Space, Data space A set of mutually agreed principles and rules for sharing and exchanging data within or between different sectors. Open term page Data space which aims to facilitate the secure use of health data in patient treatment, research and product development.
Rapid technological development is a challenge even for pioneers. AI, for example, requires bold changes and in some cases the dismantling of existing solutions in order to increase work profitability and further the transition towards preventive well-being services. The sector’s capacity to innovate and experiment boldly needs to be strengthened.
The Health through data project supports the social welfare and health sector as a driver and accelerator of change. The project follows on from our previous projects promoting health data, such as Health data 2030 and the related EU-funded TEHDAS project, which was coordinated by Sitra. The project draws heavily on the Isaacus project, from which Findata emerged, and the IHAN project, which developed the tools and approach for a fair data economy.
What do we do?
We are currently preparing the Health through data project, and some of the projects will already start in the early part of this year.
We are working to positively influence the renewal of well-being services and are running pilot projects with the wellbeing services counties in Finland. The projects make use of social welfare and healthcare data and AI. We are also exploring the use of data models to improve the data availability and quality.
We will also identify measures to boost the health sector in Finland. The work will build on the sector’s successful national growth strategy and take forward its growth programme launched in 2023.
We are participating in the follow-up project of the European Union’s joint project to create the framework for implementing legislation to streamline the use of health data in Europe in building a common Health Data Space. EU member states have chosen Sitra to coordinate the follow-up project. Sitra will also be responsible for the project communications. The TEHDAS2 project (Second Joint Action Towards European Health Data Space) is scheduled to start in May 2024.
Together with the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, we are coordinating a project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers to use the European Health Data Space in Nordic co-operation and to test data models for data use in practice. The project will start in February 2024.
Who is involved?
European well-being is being built in co-operation with a wide range of international stakeholders. In addition to the public and third sector, the project involves companies and research and development organisations in Finland and other European countries. It also includes the National Initiatives Network, an international initiative for the secondary use of social welfare and healthcare data, which Sitra has been steering for a long time.
Unlocking the potential of data models in the health sector
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