Faster and more effective care through artificial intelligence

CleverHealth Network, an ecosystem coordinated by HUS, is launching a new, extensive development project to produce AI-assisted solutions for early disease detection, automated diagnostics and treatment selection, and comprehensive home care.

CleverHealth Network, coordinated by HUS Helsinki University Hospital, is launching a development project entitled eCare for Me (eC4Me) funded by Business Finland. The project results in new service concepts and treatment processes to expedite the early disease detection (proof-of-concept: rare diseases), optimal diagnostics and treatment (acute leukemia), and facilitate early and advanced home care (home dialysis). The main partners in the project are HUS, Tieto, Aiforia, Intito and Kaiku Health.

“The service concepts and technological solutions now under development have never been seen before elsewhere. The goal is to develop a model that would allow us to utilize the unique big health data at HUS and, through that data, enable versatile, top-quality international research. That research then gives us opportunities for bettering the health of our citizens and accelerates access to treatment,” Mirka Tammi, project director at CleverHealth Network says.

Artificial intelligence expedites early diagnosis of rare diseases

Recognizing symptoms and findings related to rare diseases can be difficult for even the professionals. Three generally high-cost rare diseases were chosen for CleverHealth Network’s eCare for Me project: glomerulonephritis, myositis, and vasculitis.

“We are developing an approach where AI algorithms combine data thus expediting the diagnostics of rare diseases by at least ten to twenty percent. This can create substantial cost savings, improve care quality, and reduce human suffering,” describes Mikko Seppänen, the Chief Researcher and Chief Physician from HUS Rare Diseases Center.

For example, the intensive care costs required by a kidney patient in the acute stage can easily exceed 100,000 euros, which means that earlier diagnosis would lead to significant savings.

Leukemia patients require individual treatment

The costs of cancer treatment in Finland reach a billion euros yearly. Cancer diagnostics can be accelerated and made more accurate through comprehensive molecular and functional profiling with the help of deep machine learning, which would enable automated processes for directing patients to guidelines-based therapies or clinical drug trials, with the ultimate aim of personalized cancer care.

“We are developing a clinical tumor board application to be used at the weekly oncological meetings. Currently less than ten percent of HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center’s patients are enrolled in clinical trials, but our goal is to double or triple that number, states Kimmo Porkka, Chief Researcher and Head Physician at HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Efficient enrolment of cancer patients to clinical trials give patients early access to new innovative drugs in a rapidly developing field, and also would save 15 to 20 million euros in drug costs.

Easier home dialysis 

In Finland, the number of dialysis patients has increased in the past ten years by 18 percent and continues to grow at a yearly rate of four percent. The number of patients receiving dialysis at home has increased but at a surprisingly low rate.

“The cost of home dialysis is significantly lower than the cost of dialysis performed in a hospital. Furthermore, patients experience a better quality of life and their prognosis is at least as good as for patients in hospital dialysis. However, bringing dialysis treatment to a patient’s home is burdensome and complex for both the patient and the health care unit providing the service. Identifying and recruiting the patients who are suitable for home dialysis can be challenging, and patients who are suitable for home dialysis are needlessly steered to hospital dialysis,” describes Virpi Rauta who is a specialist in nephrology at HUS Abdominal Center.

Ordering dialysis equipment and supplies, delivering them, and monitoring home dialysis treatment is laborious as well. Nevertheless, by developing the treatment process, the number of home dialysis patients can be increased, and treatment quality and safety can be improved significantly

Further information:

  • Mirka Tammi, CleverHealth Network, Project Director, HUS, tel. +358 40 657 5331,
  • Anja Kajanne, eCare for Me project, Project Manager, HUS, tel. +358 40 669 2201
  • Mikko Seppänen, Research Director in the eCare for Me project, rare diseases,
  • Kimmo Porkka, Research Director in the eCare for Me project, acute leukemia,
  • Virpi Rauta, Research Director in the eCare for Me project, home dialysis,
  • Visa Honkanen, Development Director, HUS, tel. +358 50 427 5023,

CleverHealth Network, established in 2017, is a health technology ecosystem in which companies and health care experts develop better treatment solutions for Finns and successful export products for companies. Product and service innovations are based on HUS’s extensive health data and the leading expertise of clinicians. The participants of the ecosystem, funded by Business Finland, include BCB Medical, BC Platforms, CGI, Elisa, Fujitsu, GE, HUS, IBM, Innofactor, Microsoft, Nokia, Noona, Planmeca and Tieto.