Helsinki University Hospital’s Cancer Center taps into crowdsourcing to improve patient care
Helsinki University Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) is using crowdsourcing to better understand the needs of its customers and to find new digital ways to improve patient care.
Cancer is a global problem affecting people everywhere and there is a constant drive to offer the best treatment possible. And a cancer hospital in Finnish capital Helsinki is tapping into digital technologies to find new, innovative ways to improve patient care.
Finland is among the highest performing countries in the world when it comes to the positive results of cancer treatment, but there is always room for improvement. Which is why the Helsinki University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) is turning to crowdsourcing to find the best solutions, innovations and technological expertise to improve patient care and effectiveness in the treatment process.
“Very often the solutions we are offered and the needs we have do not meet. So we started to wonder how could we better understand the needs of our patients and researchers and match them with the right companies,” explains Tuula Helander, Development Manager at the Helsinki University Hospital Cancer Center. “This is how the idea for a shared innovation platform started.”
The title of the project is ‘Kertomalla Paranee’ (‘Improve by Sharing’) and it works by bringing together the cancer centre, patients and companies to identify the biggest issues for patients and new ways to tackle them. The kertomallaparanee.fi open online platform is used to let anyone in Finland propose ideas on how cancer treatment or patient care could be improved. Then these ideas are opened for companies to explore and find potential solutions.
The goal is to bring the real needs of patients front and centre while offering companies of all sizes an opportunity to introduce their products and services to the public health care sector.
A platform full of ideas
During the four months the online platform was open to the public, the project received over 220 proposals from users around Finland. Of these, the Cancer Centre identified four themes with the greatest need for innovation: better wigs, a more homely hospital environment, ‘smart hospital clothing’ that could aid cancer treatment, and digital tools to improve patient communication and monitoring both inside and outside hospital.
Now the online platform is open for companies to submit their ideas on how to tackle these issues and CCC and its partners will choose up to five to work with. The aim is to have the first pilots ready by the end of 2016. CCC will also act as the first reference customer for these products and services.
“The companies will be able to get inside our world and vice versa. We hope to create real public-private partnerships,” Helander says. “Public health care opens up its doors and gets close to the companies, which has not been done before.”
The project has been supported from the start by a network of partners, including private companies Novartis and UPM, the Health Startup Association of Finland (HealthSPA) and public agencies Sitra and Helsinki Business Hub (HBH).
Talking about the role of HBH in particular, Helander explains:
“The role of HBH is to get small and medium sized companies involved, which is really important for us. Also they have helped us to understand how companies think. HBH has been to one to bring up the problems, thoughts and hopes of companies on how the innovation collaboration could be executed.”
The innovation project also has a wider goal beside finding new services. The aim is to build a digital platform and concept for public-private collaboration that could be used across the health care sector. Impressed by the results so far, the Hospital District of Helsinki has already decided to expand the concept to its other hospitals and interest is growing outside Finnish borders as well.
CCC is the first cancer centre in the Nordics to be accredited by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI). This means any services born out of the pilot project have the door open to customers around Europe and CCC is happy to share with them the whole innovation concept:
“We have the potential to become a global example of how to bring companies and the needs of patients closer together. If we are successful, this will be a significant achievement globally,” Helander concludes.
Mr. Kimmo Koponen
Senior Business Advisor, Helsinki Business Hub
tel. +358 44 757 2244 firstname.lastname@example.org
This HBH statement on cookies and related technologies applies to the use of such technologies when you visit this website.
What are cookies and why we use them?
Cookies are small text files stored on your device by websites you visit.
Cookies alone cannot be used to identify you, but they may be linked directly or indirectly to you when combined with other information. In these cases, cookies may be treated as personal data. We make no effort to identify you personally from cookies.
Cookies can either be session cookies (they last only until you close your browser) or persistent (they remain on your computer or device until you delete them). Session cookies are usually used to remember relevant settings of your browsing session. Persistent cookies may typically be used for targeted advertising and gaining insight on how you use our website. We use both session and persistent cookies. Our persistent cookies are set to expire no later than two years after last refresh.
Collect statistical information on the use of our website. This helps us measure the effect of our marketing efforts and guides us in providing you with a better service. Depending on your browser settings, some of this information may also be shared with third-party service providers (e.g. Google Analytics).
Provide relevant content. Cookies allow us to tailor site's content to better match your needs and interests.
Please note that if you disable cookies, some website functionality may be limited.
Essential website cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, you cannot refuse them without impacting how our site functions. You can block or delete them by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website.
Google Analytics cookies
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
If you do not want that we track your visits to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here:
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Maps and external video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.