Finland – OuluHealth is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of the Month – October

13 October 2022

We are very glad to feature OuluHealth Ecosystem as our Ecosystem of the Month of October. Andy Bleaden, our Communities Manager, says: “It is easy to see why OuluHealth is that ecosystem that is held up a good practice ecosystem – with its co-creation baked in approach and visionary Hospital of the Future – Oulu has since I joined the ECHAlliance as a member 11 years ago been the go-to for what can good look like. All these years later it still is and it is easy to see why here.”

What is the approximate stakeholder breakdown of your ecosystem?

The stakeholders of the OuluHealth Ecosystem include local research institutes (the University of Oulu, University of Applied Sciences, VTT, Oulu Vocational School), healthcare service providers (Oulu University Hospital, the wellbeing services county of North Ostrobothnia), health and life science companies with registered offices in the great Oulu area as well as BusinessOulu.

All these stakeholders are in constant contact. Oulu has a long history in making things happen together. The OuluHealth Ecosystem is no exception in this respect as it has led the way in building a co-creation atmosphere, open to all the ecosystem’s stakeholders.

Who are the top 3 champions from your Ecosystem?

  • Oulu University Hospital 
    Oulu University Hospital is one of the five university hospitals in Finland. In our ecosystem, it represents healthcare service providers and has the position as chairman of the board. The hospital is currently undergoing incredible changes as part of the Future Hospital OYS 2030 programme. The main idea behind this initiative is to modernize the Oulu University Hospital (OYS) in a way that it becomes one of the smartest hospitals in the world and meets the future challenges of specialized medical care.
  • The University of Oulu
    The University of Oulu stands for research institutes in our region. The university creates new knowledge, well-being and innovation for the future through multidisciplinary research and education. Close cooperation with research institutes, companies and the public sector has resulted in forming an internationally significant research and innovation hub. Digital health is one of the strategic profiling themes of the University of Oulu, perfectly aligned with the strategy of OuluHealth.
  • BusinessOulu
    BusinessOulu is a business and development-oriented organization of the City of Oulu. Its mission is to be a driver of business transition and a partner in business growth by supporting enterprises and strengthening their competitiveness in global markets. Together with its partners, BusinessOulu offers comprehensive services to companies operating in many different sectors, including health and life science. The OuluHealth network director is BusinessOulu’s representative.

What EU funding/collaboration are you involved with, or you would like to be part of?

OuluHealth is driving the change in digital health and care and strongly investing in the digital health research. The ecosystem focuses on developing RDI cooperation models between regional, national, and international knowledge partnerships and digital health innovation networks. As a result, OuluHealth has been involved in numerous activities, including national and international projects. Currently, we are an active participant in AICCELERATE as well as Health Hub Finland EDIH consortium. 

What are the key priorities and themes for your ecosystem?

The priorities of our ecosystem refer to digital solutions that improve health and well-being. These priorities are included in the ecosystem’s strategy for 2021-2027, which consists of four main programs:
1) Data enabled solutions in preventive and supportive healthcare
2) Better services for citizens through virtual service production
3) Development of innovation and testing facilities for social and health care service providers
4) New Health & Life Science Campus OYSTER

What is your primary strength as an ecosystem?

OuluHealth has done systematic work to make Oulu a great place to live, conduct research, introduce innovations, and develop businesses. Over the years, we have developed a multistakeholder collaboration model, which is truly our strength. All the stakeholders see value in collaboration and believe that together we can achieve much more. OuluHealth is right in the centre of the community, which makes it a natural matchmaker for connecting its members with right partners and stimulating innovation. The stakeholders regularly utilize versatile opportunities and support that the ecosystem offers.

Who are your clinical champions either hospitals, clinicians, specialities?

The clinical champions are both primary and secondary care i.e., the wellbeing services in the county of North Ostrobothnia and Oulu University Hospital.

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