Finland – Leaders in Integrating RWE into Healthcare, Policy, and Research

RWE 201 – Finland – Leaders in Integrating RWE into Healthcare, Policy, and Research


Finland – Secondary Use of Health Data:

Finland has been a frontrunner in the utilization of real-world data (RWD) for generating real-world evidence (RWE) in healthcare. The country has made significant progress in leveraging its national data resources to enhance healthcare decision-making, research, and innovation. Here are some of the ways Finland collects and uses RWD:

[1] National Registers and Databases: Finland has several national health registers that contain comprehensive and high-quality RWD:

Finnish Cancer Registry: It provides data on all new cancer cases in Finland…since 1953

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) Registers: They include data on births, deaths, infectious diseases, and vaccinations, among others.

Care Register for Health Care (HILMO): Contains data on hospital discharges, surgical procedures, diagnoses, and treatments.

[2] Biobanks: Finland has several biobanks, which store biological samples and data for research purposes. The Finnish Biobank Act supports the secondary use of samples, enabling researchers to access invaluable data.

[3] Electronic Health Records (EHRs): EHRs are widely used across Finnish healthcare, offering an essential source of RWD. The Finnish government has also worked to standardize EHRs, facilitating easier data retrieval and analysis.

[4] Kanta Services: Kanta is a set of national electronic services for healthcare professionals and citizens. It includes the Electronic Prescription, My Kanta Pages for citizens, and the Patient Data Repository, where healthcare providers save patient records.

[5] Genome Strategy: Finland has also embarked on a national genome strategy, aiming to integrate genetic information into routine healthcare and promote genomic research.

[6] Legislation on Secondary Use of Health and Social Data: Finland implemented a law in 2019 that streamlined the use of health and social data for purposes such as scientific research, statistics, and development. This law simplifies the process of accessing and combining different data sources, thus promoting RWE generation.

[7] Collaboration with Other Nordic Countries: Finland, along with other Nordic countries, often collaborates in health data initiatives. This collaboration extends the potential of RWD as combined data from the Nordic countries provides a larger and more diverse population sample for research.

[8] Use of RWE: Finland utilizes RWE for several purposes, including:

– Guiding health policy and decision-making.

– Supporting drug assessment and pricing.

– Informing clinical guidelines and practices.

– Advancing scientific research.

In summary, Finland has a robust system in place for collecting and using RWD, and the country has been proactive in its approach to integrating RWE into healthcare, policy, and research. With a combination of comprehensive national registers, modern digital infrastructures, forward-thinking legislation, and a collaborative spirit, Finland stands out as an example of how to effectively leverage RWD for the betterment of healthcare.

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