Better health through genomic data – genome strategy updated
The National Genome Strategy responds to the challenges of a rapidly changing operating environment. The strategy brings together actions to utilise genomic data for the benefit of citizens’ health.
The use of genomic information in healthcare has increased. In the future, decisions regarding the prevention and treatment of diseases will be increasingly based on the individual’s genetic makeup.
The objectives of the updated genome strategy are:
- Finland uses its unique capabilities in genomics research, development and innovation (RDI);
- the smooth utilisation of genomic data is possible in an ethically sustainable manner;
- knowledge of the current state creates a basis for utilising genomic data in healthcare and promoting people’s wellbeing;
- solutions that take into account the development of the field are produced for the production and management of genomic data.
The strategy states that the proposed genome centre would be a natural operator for initiating the measures set out in the genome strategy. The genome centre, in cooperation with national experts, would draw up national principles and guidelines for the utilisation of genetic information. The genome centre would ensure that citizens have equal opportunity to benefit from genomic data. Medical professionals could also utilise genomic data in their own work.
In response to the rapid changes in the operating environment, the strategy emphasises the need for a solution-oriented and dynamic genome strategy. This makes it possible, if necessary, to update earlier policies quickly and to develop legislation related to genomic data.
Experts from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu University Hospital, the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Biobank, the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland, the University of Eastern Finland, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Turku University Hospital, Fimlab, Biocenter, SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health, and the wellbeing services ounty of Pirkanmaa participated in the updating of the genome strategy.
In September 2014, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appointed a working group to prepare a proposal for the National Genome Strategy, which was published in 2015. Key proposals included the introduction of a genome act and the establishment of a national genome centre. The genome strategy proposal is part of the national Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities published in 2014. The updated genome strategy published now continues the implementation of the long-term goals set out in the previous report and the objectives of the updated roadmap for 2020–2023 of the Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities.