Finland at the frontline of healthcare digitalisation
MEDIA RELEASE 5 October 2020
The use and demand of digital services skyrocketed in a short period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, we do not have to start from scratch: the digitalisation of healthcare services has been going on for a while. As digitalisation progresses, the role of the individual citizen becomes increasingly important.
The international conference organised by the Finnish Society of Telemedicine and eHealth discussed digital healthcare and its various aspects. The theme of the conference was international and Nordic eHealth trends and solutions. The 25th conference was organised in a virtual online environment due to COVID-19.
COO Niina Aagaard of Nordic Innovation says that the prime ministers of the Nordic countries have set a vision according to which the Nordic countries will be the most integrated region in the world and the leader in sustainable development by 2030.
“This means that we aim to be the most integrated health region in the world. Our vision is to offer the best possible individualised healthcare services for all citizens of the Nordic countries both in cities and sparsely populated areas,” she says.
In order to meet this goal, it must be possible to offer services to the citizens of the Nordic countries across national borders. This means that information regarding health and treatment must be able to cross borders smoothly without barriers. Various systems must be mutually compatible.
Kanta – the Finnish crown jewel
Cross-border exchange of information requires each country to have a high-quality national system for storing and processing health data. Finland is in a good position in this respect, thanks largely to the national health record Kanta, which has now been in operation for ten years.
Chief Specialist Vesa Jormanainen of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare presented the Kanta system at the conference. He referred to several international studies, according to which Finland is at the forefront of digital healthcare.
The Kanta services also include My Kanta, which is designed for each individual Finnish citizen. It is a network service in which everyone can view their medical data.
“My Kanta has been enthusiastically received. Some 2.4 million Finns used it last year alone. There were some 20.9 million individual logins. I’m particularly proud of the age structure of the users: nearly one-third of citizens over 75 have used the service at least once,” Chief Specialist Jormanainen said, describing the popularity of the service.
New services through digitalisation
Terveyskylä – Health Village – is another important digital health service developed in Finland. Whereas Kanta is intended for recording and viewing health data, Health Village provides citizens with health-related information and digital care pathways. The service therefore focuses on referral services.