The Kela Kanta Services are unique worldwide, and they are arousing interest also outside Finland. International cooperation opens up new opportunities for developing digital health services.
During this summer, Kanta Services have been showcased at various international events, such as the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Conference on digital healthcare and the Silver Economy Forum, which focuses on the social changes resulting from an ageing population. Kanta Services will also be prominent this autumn during Finland's EU Presidency.
"Kanta Services are being showcased internationally under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Recently, their international visibility has been raised through participation in major conferences in the sector. We will be involved in events like HIMSS & Health in the coming years, too," says Tiia Lundqvist from Kanta Services Communications.
Nationally implemented system is exceptional
Kanta Services have aroused interest abroad for a long time, and many visitors have come to Finland to learn how digital health and social services are organised here. Our experts also travel abroad to talk about Kanta Services, especially at the larger events in the sector. Kanta arouses interest, as it is a statutory and centralised solution covering the whole country, which is relatively rare across the world.
"We are one of the few countries where the system has been successfully implemented on a national level. The national system covers both the public and private sectors and includes both the health and social services. A speciality of Finland is also our personal ID code system, which ensures that all documentation is guaranteed to be identified to the same person," Lundqvist goes on.
The My Kanta Pages service is also pretty exceptional on an international scale. In other countries, similar services are often local, not nationwide. Moreover, My Kanta Pages contains medical records and prescription details from both the private and public sectors. My Kanta Pages is also really well used in Finland, and its uptake is growing constantly. The My Kanta Pages user numbers exceeded the three million mark in July 2019.
International cooperation helps in developing digital services
The Kanta Service solutions are based on international standards, and we are also involved in their development and actively monitoring them. Among other instances, Finland is a member of Integrating Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation IHTSDO, which promotes social and healthcare data management.
Since Kanta Services apply shared standards, any lessons learned in Finland are also available for others to use.
"Finland is a forerunner with Kanta Services in the field of health and social services digitalisation. Other countries can obtain good benchmarking from us on our successes, the worst pitfalls we have faced, and how cooperation between the different sectors has improved and tightened along with Kanta Services", Lundqvist says.
The importance of international cooperation will grow when other countries start adopting similar systems. In Estonia and Portugal, for example, digital solutions are also well advanced. This will permit the use of electronic health services across borders. Finland has been involved in developing prescriptions across borders, which was the first in Europe to go live between Finland and Estonia at the start of 2019.