CleverHealth Network ecosystem projects are moving forward

CleverHealth Network has currently six ongoing co-development projects to create new treatment solutions for clearly defined clinical challenges. The product and service innovations are based on extensive and high-quality health data from Helsinki University Hospital (HUS). The projects focus on close, multidisciplinary collaboration between HUS clinicians, research institutes and leading health technology and ICT companies.

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Photo by Antti Kirves


The results of the ongoing projects were presented at the Result Highlights virtual event for CleverHealth Network members on 15 May 2020. A concise situation review facilitated by Spinverse presented the project results as well as the lessons learned so far from the cooperation. Other ecosystem companies also commented on the presentations. Pfizer, Takeda and Productivity Leap  – partner companies that recently joined the ecosystem – outlined their targets and expectations during the same event. The Covid19 situation during the spring naturally had an impact on project work. Some of HUS’ project personnel have been reassigned to prioritized corona work, and it has not been possible to carry out patient recruitment as planned. Despite these temporary delays, the work is moving ahead and producing results.

The significance of brain disorders and their treatment will increase as the population ages all around the world. The Head area imaging analytics project focuses on developing a tool for physicians that provides more precise cerebral hemorrhage diagnostics and better care for patients.

  • “In addition to the lessons learned by the participating organizations on how to operate in an innovation network, the results from the first phase of the project include an AI-based algorithm that identifies cerebral hemorrhage in the subarachnoid space with outstanding precision,” says Mikko Heikkilä from CGI.
  • “The results are very promising at this point, but we want to make them as good as possible. This requires more work, which is already in progress,” adds Miikka Korja, Senior Medical Officer in Charge of Development from HUS.

The eCare for Me project includes three different research lines: Diagnostics for rare diseases, Treatment of acute leukemia and Development of home dialysis.

Diagnostics of rare diseases research focuses on a well-known challenge that is a major burden for both patients and health care. One in twenty Finns has a rare disease, and the cost of treating these people accounts for nearly one-fifth of specialized medical care expenses in Uusimaa. For the patients, treatment paths are often long. Reaching a diagnosis typically takes years and a patient may have dozens of contacts in different health care units.

  • “The aim of our research project is to use artificial intelligence and data to find and identify rare ‘needles in the haystack’ at an earlier stage. The first forecasting models have been completed and the project is moving on to the prospective phase, which involves testing the models in practice,” state Tapio Pitkäranta, Head of Cloud Analytics and AI at TietoEVRY and Chief Physician Mikko Seppänen from HUS.

Treatment of acute leukemia research uses machine learning and neural networks to automate the diagnosis of malignant diseases and select individualized treatment. It utilizes clinical data reserves from the HUS Data Lake and in-depth profiling data on basic disease mechanisms collected from academic research. The ultimate aim is to establish an intelligent dashboard application to guide diagnostics and treatment in both clinical patient work and research use.

  • “We’ve established a comprehensive, standardized and GDPR-compliant PoC modeling environment in the HUS Data Lake, which is extensively used by researchers and partners. The project has also launched a clinical data restructuring project in accordance with the International Common Data Model (OMOP CDM), which enables smooth and secure collaboration between Finnish and international centers. OMOP modelling is being done in cooperation with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Tampere University Hospital. We’ve also created interactive dashboards to manage and integrate large amounts of data for clinical use,” explains Head Physician Kimmo Porkka from HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The objective of Development of home dialysis research is to create an application that predialysis and home dialysis patients can use to monitor daily well-being as well as AI-based models for dialysis prescriptions and risk identification. These solutions aim at providing patients with better quality of life and more effective treatment.

  • “We received the research permits in March, and now the research technology environment has been tested and refined with our partners. The electronic research environment was created in the eCRF system to monitor the research protocol. Patient and personnel instructions are ready for the recruitment process as soon as it’s safe for research patients and staff in terms of the Covid19 situation,” says Research Nurse Tiina Puurtinen from HUS.

The Remote monitoring of gestational diabetes project aims to improve the treatment and monitoring of gestational diabetes by developing a mobile application that continuously measures the mother’s glucose levels, physical activity, nutrition, heart rate and daily weight and then stores the data in the cloud in real time.

  • “Development of the application for pregnant women has progressed well, and this also applies to the professional interface. Recently, we’ve been focusing on the seamless transfer of data and presenting information in a meaningful way. This work utilizes the broad-based expertise of the entire project network,” says Ville Väärälä, Business Development Director at Fujitsu.
  • “During the first phase of the project, we tested the usability of various indicators during pregnancy and asked women with gestational diabetes to comment on the application. We also developed a new Bayesian analysis model that allows us to more accurately estimate the effect of diet on blood glucose levels. Usability testing for the application prototype is now starting, and this will provide the foundation for a more extensive practical research phase involving 200 mothers. The latter phase is set to begin after the summer,” explains Saila Koivusalo, Specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics at HUS.

The aim of the Child with diabetes project is to increase safety and facilitate the daily life of families during treatment of their child’s diabetes. We transfer blood glucose data from the patient's sensor to HUS, with consent and in a secure manner. We also scale the data flow for research use and other patient groups.

  • “We can't cure diabetes, but now we can help the patient’s family make treatment-related decisions and support the child’s school attendance by increasing treatment safety and eliminating parents’ concerns during the working day,” says Docent Päivi Miettinen from HUS.
  • “We’ve built a secure and consent-based flow of data from the home to the patient information system so that the doctor and patient/family see the same information at the same time. Cooperation with different partners has been good and productive, and the same applies to shared leadership at HUS. This is an amazing and very talented group!” states Project Manager Birgit Paajanen from HUS.
  • “We’ve been involved in this project since the beginning. It represents a new way of working and we’re eager to be part of it in the future as well. This is a really gifted group of experts,” says Sonja Pietilä from CGI.

More Information

Head area imaging analytics
Taru Hermens, Project Manager, taru.hermens[at]
Miikka Korja, Chief Innovation Officer, Head of Section - Cerebrovascular Consultant, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, miikka.korja[at]

Diagnostics of rare diseases
Anja Kajanne, Project Manager, HUS, anja.kajanne[at]
Mikko Seppänen, Head Physician, HUS, mikko.seppanen[at]

Development of home dialysis
Anja Kajanne, Project Manager, HUS, anja.kajanne[at]
Virpi Rauta, MD, Nephrologist, EMBA, PhD, Homedialysis, Nephrology, Abdominal Center, Helsinki University Central Hospital, virpi.rauta[at]

Treatment of acute leukemia
Anja Kajanne, Project Manager, HUS, anja.kajanne[at]
Kimmo Porkka, Chief Physician, Professor, HUS, kimmo.porkka[at]

Remote monitoring of gestational diabetes
Pia Viklund, Project Manager, pia.viklund[at]
Saila Koivusalo, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, M.D., PhD, Adjunct Professor, Development Manager, saila.koivusalo[at]

Child with diabetes / IHAN (Sitra)
Birgit Paajanen, Project Manager, birgit.paajanen[at]
Päivi Miettinen, Chief Physician, HUS Children and Adolescent, paediatric endocrine clinic, paivi.miettinen[at]