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ECHAlliance Member Oulu Health- Noora Jansson interviews, talking about her work for the Ecosystem

13 March 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Smith
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1. Tell us about the OuluHealth ecosystem and its goals.
Ouluhealth ecosystem is a network of organizations which work in the field of health and welfare in the Oulu region. It consists of researchers, public sector institutions as well as companies. Our task in BusinessOulu is to enhance the cooperation between them. The goal is to combine technology and health in order to accelerate innovation in the healthcare sector. The ecosystem also aims at creating international connections for business and research opportunities.

2. What were Ouluhealth’s greatest accomplishments last year?
One of the greatest accomplishments last year is the operations of OuluHealth Labs. In 2016 almost 30 different companies tested their products and services in OuluHealth Labs. Piloting companies have a unique chance to conduct usability tests of the products they plan to launch onto the market and receive professionals’ feedback. What is especially cool, is the digital integration platform for modelling future health solutions. It is built based on open, modular architecture approach. For example, a successful integration between three electronic health records provided by different vendors has already been done.

Oulu-based companies have been very active within the ecosystem. Paras Biopharmaceuticals, for example, has developed technology for the production of an osteoporosis drug, which will result in a very economical production of this medicine. The company also received a multimillion-euro investment from a UK group ASAP Growth Ltd that has extensive entrepreneurial experience in pharmaceuticals.

Moreover, I would like to mention that in 2012, when our ecosystem was established, we set a goal to create 700 new workplaces in the private sector within 5 years in this field. I can now say that the goal has been accomplished successfully and in time, thanks to all the active companies and other stakeholders within the ecosystem.

3. What are the main challenges the healthcare sector in Finland is facing these days?
One of the most significant challenges is for sure sparse population and related to it distance to healthcare services. Like everywhere in the world, aging population is a common problem as well as aging hospital infrastructure and infrastructure services.  Moreover, rising service costs, limited finances, raising costs of developing treatment technologies and pharmaceutical drugs belong to present challenges.

4. What motivates you in your work?
I like the variety of challenges in my work, and the fact that it is very international. I get to work with companies, researchers, students, and health providers. When we achieve our goals together, it motivates me to continue with what I do. I feel we are creating all the time something new. This is actually a quite creative job which suits me well, as my childhood dream was to become an architect.

5. What do you think the future will be like for Oulu and OuluHealth?
Ecosystem development is very long-term work. The way I see it, we are at its quite early phase and there is still a lot of work ahead of us. I like Oulu, as it offers a lot of possibilities and nice quality of life. The people here are positive and willing to explore new things. I hope that OuluHealth will become a sustainable and internationally recognized brand in the future.