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WHO supports the development of health innovations in a new way - considers Finland as a pioneer in developing health technologies

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 12.12.2018 12.15
News item

At a Slush side event in Helsinki on 5 December, the World Health Organization (WHO) told that the organisation will launch a new initiative, Innovation Hub, to support the development and market access of innovations promoting wellbeing.

The ultimate goal of the Innovation Hub is to improve health worldwide.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus considers Finland as a pioneer in wellbeing and health innovations and health technology.

"One thing I really like is the focus of the government on innovation. That is really important. Especially the focus on the digital health or digital technology. Healthcare will be influenced by digital health enourmously in the future – whether we like or not. We have to prepare for it and we have to be ahead of the curve. That is why I really appreciate Finland’s lead on this embracing digital technology as something that is really important for our healthcare. WHO consider this as an opportunity. That is why when I was informed about this (the Slush Side Event), I wanted to come here to really benefit from that opportunity. I thank Finland for being a trailblazer on this area", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus when he opened the Slush side event organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Business Finland and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Kara Durski represented the Innovation Hub at the event. She said that they wanted to tell about the project for the first time in Finland and at Slush because Finland is a leader in innovation and Slush event is a very exciting event with 20,000 innovators and potential partners.

"I think it’s a very great place for us to be able to announce the establishment of the innovation Hub because it’s very important that everyone is involved in bringing innovation forward. In order to make a major impact at country level, we do need everyone to come together”.

The Innovation Hub will offer global growth opportunities for innovations.

"We have 150 country offices and they are closely linked with ministries of health. So we have really strong understanding of the need of the countries. We are very excited to begin developing partnerships with other organizations and groups so that we can truly make impact at country level and can accelerate SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).”, said Durski.

See Kara Durski's video interview:

The Innovation hub is still under development. Next year it will be officially launched.

What Slush side event?

At a Slush side event called Moving on up – partner with public sector for growth in health, public sector stakeholders and established companies in the field of health technology presented concrete examples of projects that the healthcare sector wants to carry out with start-ups in future. They also told what chances the public sector has to invest in new ideas.

Video recording from the event

Further information

Innovation Hub

[email protected]
Kara Durski, WHO, [email protected]

Slush side event

Jukka Lähesmaa, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 2951 63139, [email protected]
Marko Lähteenmäki, National Institute for Health and Welfare THL, tel.. +358 2952 47189, [email protected]