OuluHealth – Systems and know-how integration
10 April 2017
Posted by: Heather Smith
With digitalisation, a sizeable amount of patient data, both new and old, is entered into various digital patient data management systems. The key to successful and high-quality care lies in integration between systems. OYS TestLab, one of OuluHealth’s test environments, allows system integration to be tested in a genuine environment with systems such as Tieto’s Lifecare and Oulu University Hospital’s Esko system.
OuluHealth ecosystem, part of Oulu Innovation Alliance, is home to three versatile test environments for testing both health technology and services with the help of professionals. The significant network of health technology companies are also part of OuluHealth.
OuluHealth ecosystem is internationally recognised for its ability to produce innovative solutions to global healthcare challenges. Patient data management systems’ integration with one another will surely be a global challenge for healthcare, according to Tieto Healthcare’s Kimmo Alaniska.
“We live in a post-monolith era, where it’s not reasonable to expect vast, closed systems. It’s not the future. The future is in open architecture, open interfaces and in selecting the best solution providers for different needs instead of opting for a single provider for all of them”, Alaniska says.
Tieto’s solution for a social and healthcare IT system for the Nordic countries is seamless integration of applications with ICT infrastructure services supporting these applications.
OYS TestLab, a test environment for specialised healthcare products embedded at Oulu University Hospital (OYS), is one of OuluHealth’s test environments that allow the testing of healthcare products and services with authentic users and in modular environments.
At OYS TestLab, Tieto Healthcare has participated in testing the integration of several patient data management systems, e.g. a testing version of OYS’s proprietary patient data system, Esko, and Tieto’s Lifecare, with promising results. OYS TestLab enables such testing with actual hospital staff, who work with companies, such as Tieto, to improve the healthcare of the future.
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BusinessOulu’s Life Science Key Accounts Director Heidi Tikanmäki says that the OuluHealth ecosystem is much more than just a platform for testing healthcare products and services. The principal idea is to facilitate open collaboration and to accelerate innovation by bringing together various partners able to contribute to the needs of the health care sector.
The ecosystem approach enables the combination of expertise from wireless information technologies and Life Science to introduce smart ICT solutions for delivering advanced, personalised, connected health service solutions.
“We have gathered a significant network of companies working in the health sector, thus enabling us to network the companies of the region with each other nationally as well as internationally. For example, we had a presence at Dubai’s Arab Health expo featuring eight Oulu-based health sector companies in January , so we have a lot to offer for companies in that respect. In addition, via BusinessOulu, startups can get support while establishing their new companies. We also have our OuluHealth pilot loan Sparks for companies,” Tikanmäki says.
OuluHealth set a goal in 2012 to generate 700 new jobs in health sector companies over five years. The target was met in just four years. Additionally, in the Oulu region, export turnover for Life Science companies grew by 41% in five years and overall turnover was 640 MEUR. Obviously, Oulu’s health ecosystem is doing something right then. Tieto’s Alaniska agrees.
Kimmo Alaniska has been working in the health sector both in Oulu and Helsinki since early 2000s, and points out specific strategies that have enabled OuluHealth’s ecosystem to bloom.
“OuluHealth has done systematic work to make Oulu a great place for companies in this sector. Companies in BusinessOulu’s network can have a lot of overlap with companies in OuluHealth’s network, and we’ve seen SMEs’ strategies turn towards healthcare. Partners can be found in surprising places these days. IoT, printed intelligence, AI, you name it – they all connect to healthcare, and there’s a lot of know-how in those areas in Oulu. Businesses understandably focus on their own strategies, but organisations like BusinessOulu and networks like OuluHealth can scope out the interconnecting strategies to link up prospective partners. This is how innovations are born,’’ Alaniska states.