Healthcare of the future is built on collaboration

-- (Tulevaisuuden_terveydenhuolto_rakentuu_yhteistyöll)

In the picture: HUS Development Director Visa Honkanen (left), Head of Division Pekka Lahdenne, MD & researcher Mikko Seppänen, Director of Education and Research Nina Lindfors, MD & researcher Virpi Rauta, Development Manager at HUS Testbed Satu Pesola, and Project Director Mirka Tammi.

By developing solutions together, we promote innovation and exports, obtain new equipment for clinical work, and our patients will be among the first to receive the best new therapies.

As the largest healthcare services provider in Finland, HUS is at the front line developing models of operation to meet future needs. “HUS has 23 hospitals and nearly 25,000 professionals in an academic environment. Taking advantage of this expertise to develop healthcare products and services provides a unique framework for health technology innovation, even on a world-wide scale,” says Visa Honkanen, Development Director from HUS. The development department at HUS has actively advanced industry collaboration within the past two years through the CleverHealth and HUS TestBed concepts, for example. Results have been promising. Project Director Mirka Tammi gives a few examples of what benefits industry collaboration can bring: “With the ecosystem, we are looking for new opportunities for diagnostics of rare diseases, and treatment of cancer, for example. When successful, these projects bring significant improvements to patient care.”

Top clinical experts join product development teams

Collaborative development makes HUS's clinical expertise and globally high-quality research available to industry partners. “In the CleverHealth ecosystem, the top expertise of HUS’s clinicians and research knowledge are merged with technology companies and the data available. Innovation seeks solutions to the specific challenges clinicians see in their everyday work. This way, we are able to meet the needs of the patients better already at the product planning stage,” Mirka Tammi says. “HUS TestBed makes it possible to perfect products and services in the real user environment. All parties gain new expertise when participating in collaborative development. Combining strong clinical expertise with top research and industry expertise creates opportunities for high-level development,” says Satu Pesola, Development Manager at HUS Testbed.

Success breeds success

The new way of developing health and wellness services has piqued the market's interest. “Health technology innovations are a great asset for Finnish exports and employment. There is clear demand for collaborative development of products and services that aim for the global market”, states Nina Lindfors, Director of Education and Research. Industry collaboration has increased development-oriented thinking within the hospital. “Designing the best possible services for patients also requires input from the care staff. Innovation calls for everyone's expertise. Traditionally, this type of culture is new to hospitals, but we have managed to create an innovation-positive atmosphere little by little,” Head of Division Pekka Lahdenne is happy to report. Lahdenne acted as the project manager for operative design in New Children's Hospital. Success stories have fuelled the creation of a new culture. “A few of our projects are well on their way. For example, there is a HUS TestBed project that involves gamification of children’s physiotherapy, which may prove to be an excellent concept for child patients, as is using virtual reality in treating children's neuropsychiatric problems specifically. Good initial experiences have built confidence for the hospital staff to believe that new ideas aren’t just empty geek-speak about innovation, but instead, they are real opportunities for developing patient care,” Lahdenne describes. The goal of this multidisciplinary collaboration is to deliver Finns the best possible care at the forefront of technology. “In collaborative development, top clinical expertise and research is combined with the user experience of the patients and hospital staff. HUS's link with University of Helsinki increases the productivity of industry collaboration. Having the resources to examine the effectiveness of the development work deepens the industry collaboration,” Nina Lindfors summarizes.

For further information: and
Original piece published 12 June 2019 in a special publication "Tulevaisuuden terveydenhuolto” [Healthcare of the future] produced by Mediaplanet:


Original text: Mari Laaksonen
Images: Aino Mäki