Finland"s tech invention ecosystem has offered rise come companies choose Nokia and Rovia, the company... <+> behind upset Birds

Kilpisjärvi in Lapland has actually the cleanest waiting in Europe The Aurora Borealis deserve to appear an ext than 200 nights a year There space 3.3 million saunas for your 5.3 million population When Reader’s Digest did a global test ~ above honesty, 11 the end of 12 wallets deliberately left abandoned approximately Helsinki to be returned, ranking the the safest city in the human being

It’s no surprising then, that The people Happiness Report named Finland the happiest ar to live, yet it’s likewise a hotbed for entrepreneurs, specifically in the healthtech space, because that a few key reasons:

1. Tech and Design are In The Finnish DNA

A couple of main ago, Stephen Bourke indigenous Echo called me that historically, design had largely been an ‘unloved’ area in healthtech. He to be right. Yet when friend look throughout the healthtech landscape, the finest products do have architecture front and also center, and Finland is a country with style in that DNA. Finnish designer Eero Aarnio do James Bond’s favourite seat, Finnish style house, Marimekkois, is a global brand that grossed €102M in revenue critical year and, merely put, Finland has actually been setup trends because that decades.

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Combined v the Finnish penchant for style is a track record of building tech companies. An initial Nokia, then Rovio, the agency behind upset Birds, which has actually been downloaded over 2 million times, that clear that Finland is not just embracing tech, however pedigree in architecture adds a much-needed emphasis to areas like healthtech.

2. There Is technology Ecosystem

I flew the end to Finland last month with Microsoft to visit your Helsinki office, which was in fact, the exceptional previous home to the Finnish tech giant, Nokia.

If she going come be an excellent at healthtech it’s all about adoption and creating the problems to facilitate that adoption. Whether it’s computer vision, AI, robotics, frankly, the modern technology is already here - the actually about applying that in health and wellness to actually solve a problem. That requires access to customers and feedback to iterate, yet as many healthtech entrepreneurs will tell you, neither are easy to come by and that’s the difficulty for anyone looking to develop a healthtech cluster.

To foster that innovation in Helsinki, I witnessed an ecosystem in i beg your pardon university, hospital and also startups coexist. The Helsinki and also Uusimaa Hospital district (HUS), is a share authority making up multiple hospitals across southern Finland. They defined their connection with the university as "like a married couple,” but did clarify quickly that it to be a “good marriage!” They develop lots of research together (over 3000 posts per year) and also say of their medical students the they “constantly strive because that better” and “challenge us to be better,” which, together a two-way street is a great driver of tech into health and wellness through openness and accountability.

In the hospital that us visited, students, clinicians and tech startups were mingling top top the ground floor. A VR pop-up section even gave startups the capacity to showcase and gave anyone passing the chance to shot out the tech, critique it and open up a dialogue for greater understanding of every other’s worlds.

3. The Hospitals Are open For Innovation

The HUS new Children"s Hospital is concentrated on demanding, committed healthcare for children. The... <+> hospital provides treatment for patients from all across Finland and has an impressive amount of advanced technology.


With technology inevitably second-nature to Finns, there comes a trust, one expectation and a push for institutions to take on it wherever possible. On visiting the HUS brand-new Children’s Hospital, us were greeted no by a reception desk, yet by a large 20ft digital aquarium lived in by fish attracted by youngsters in one auditorium as outstanding as it was efficient and also stylish (see above). Tablets enabled patients to check-in effortlessly making use of a barcode scanner on your appointment emails/printouts and children pick an avatar which actually adhered to them follow me their journey v the hospital ~ above the nearest screen.

Tech because that tech’s sake? no really. On one level, anxiety and stress reason a huge variety of issues in pediatrics, so actions like the digital aquarium, producing an setting that youngsters actually desire to it is in in, have the right to be substantial important. And also secondly, for cynics on the avatar system (I was one), the is now being looked in ~ by adult hospital counterparts, due to the unintended efficiency benefits via data and also communication. Over there was even a mechanism that collected live data on room intake by clinicians, an interpretation all clinicians got their same share as allocations can change, live.

4. They Collect valuable Data (and have done because that a while)

HUS have a lot of data. And it’s helpful data too. They"ve accumulated structured activities data since 1970 and also used electronic medical records because 1991, they have 2M patients’ genomic data, 65M medical record remarks, 20M images and also 400M lab tests worth of data. They additionally combine health and social care to do a network that actually collects all that data relatively efficiently. Though regardless of seeming more ahead, they actually talk of many of the very same frustrations and challenges that we have actually in the UK (for example, there room still places where patients obtain letters), yet make no mistake, they space a many closer to a digital nirvana than we are.

Microsoft’s Tech

HUS supplied Microsoft cloud options to create a online Hospital, which offers remote health and wellness services in combination with much more traditional medical care to improve accessibility and increase efficiency by enabling healthcare experts to treat more patients with the exact same resources. It also reduces the expense of providing and also receiving medical services and delivers a greater quality of customer-centric care to world throughout Finland. It can seem a an easy solution, yet to deploy it in ~ scale and actually boost the overall quality of treatment for anyone is a difficulty very fine overcome.

Visa Honkanen, manager of Strategic development for Helsinki university Hospital commented:

In healthcare today, we have more and much more ways to aid patients, and much more people who require our help, yet we don’t have endless resources. Therefore it to be quite natural for united state to start using this digital services… We have calculated that if we have the right to use digital therapies to decrease outpatient access time by just 5 percent, i m sorry is a very conservative estimate, we will pay for these digital services 5 times end in just three years."

The UK

Everyone should take a leaf out of the Finnish book and appreciate that there is ROI on an excellent design in healthcare. In the UK, we’re certainly getting there and there is a an excellent example in Liverpool.

Alder Hey children Hospital and also Alder Hey children’s Charity partnered v leading digital studio, ustwo, to architecture the Alder Play app with the aid of their patients. The application uses gaming and also augmented fact to distract children that are having inpatient procedures. Comparable to the HUS new Children’s Hospital, young patient choose and name their very own avatar who helps them know their hospital visit and help calms them during their stay. Your avatar likewise pops increase at miscellaneous hospital locations throughout their visit and also helps them collection rewards complying with procedures that enable them to access new content. In ~ Alder Play, parental are also able to connect with a chatbot called Ask Oli, which offers IBM’s Watson technology to enable questions to be answered in real time.

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Nicki Sprinz, managing Director at ustwo London, said:

Ustwo is immensely proud the the work-related we"ve excellent in partnership v Alder Hey. Our mission is to do products and also services that have a meaningful influence on people"s daily lives and we can not think of something an ext meaningful 보다 working through Alder Hey to transform children"s suffer of hospital."


James is the founder that somX, supporting the ideal healthtech companies in the world and also he master The Health-Tech Podcast, which has listeners in >100 countries. Heis an

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James is the founder the somX, sustaining the finest healthtech service providers in the world and also he hosts The Health-Tech Podcast, which has actually listeners in >100 countries. Heis one anaesthetics and also ICU medical professional by training, has held roles in leadership, management and innovation in ~ NHS England, Health education and learning England and also the British clinical Journal and previously directed 2 healthtechaccelerators; DigitalHealth.London, which provided startups v market access to the NHS, conserving £48M because that the UK health and wellness service and also HS.Ventures, which built and scaled deep modern technology companies. The has levels in medicine, biomedical sciences and education and also is a guest lecturer on healthtech innovation and entrepreneurship at scholastic institutions about the world.