Vake calls for collaboration to create shared and accessible data

Vake’s Digitalisation in Healthcare Seminar introduced various ideas on how data can help solve problems in healthcare and social welfare, while also improving public services.

The seminar was held on October 1st. A recording of the event (in Finnish) can be watched here, and the presentation materials can be accessed here. Photos showcasing the event’s atmosphere are available here.

Vake’s CEO Paula Laine opened the seminar with a presentation about Vake’s new, proposed strategy. The proposal recommends anchoring Vake’s operations to two megatrends: digitalisation and climate change. Investments into digitalisation and climate action are expected to require significant catalysts during the following 10–15 years. Vake’s role would be to fill in the gaps in the market to help generate growth. The four investment categories outlined in the strategy include public and PPP platforms, scaling of commercial investments, as well as investing in new thematic impact funds in the market.

Antti Larsio, Director of Vake’s Healthcare Programme, reminded that data is crucial for resolving challenges in the healthcare and social welfare sector. Since data is particularly fragmented within the service provider field, he proposed a model in which data would be gathered and synthesised into data pools that could be used to develop new applications in an open ecosystem. Vake’s part in the model would be to provide investments at national, hospital district as well as disease levels until the impacts and, subsequently, profits are realised. Larsio also invited the audience to consider if and how this model could be beneficial in creating better healthcare services and if they see a role for themselves in it.

The next speaker, Juha Tuominen, CEO of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), highlighted critical needs of the service provider in terms of quality of care, customer experience and efficiency. Throughout the presentation, he reflected on his motto: “Data must be created in a structured way, refined until it is understandable and comparable, and ultimately, used as a basis for resource planning.” Tuominen reminded that this is the only path to achieving coherent customer experience and eventually generating efficiency and cost savings.

In their presentations, Arto Vuori from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Pekka Marttinen from Aalto University talked about putting artificial intelligence to work in order to better utilise the national database. Vuori discussed national-level data reserves that THL maintains and develops. He affirmed that healthcare data is currently very fragmented, and advocated Vake’s idea of synthesised data. Marttinen shed light on THL and Aalto University’s collaboration regarding machine learning and register data, and outlined the latest breakthroughs in deep learning.

Toni Suihko from Eksote spoke about future social and healthcare services enabled by technology. According to Suihko, gathering fragmented data enables better predictions of people’s service behaviour. A client may not have any clinical needs, but nevertheless requires a variety of different services. “Gathering fragmented data enables predicting the customers’ situations and finding appropriate services or treatments for them,” Suihko concluded.