Scientific research and knowledge management

Scientific research and knowledge management

The Kanta Services were originally developed to serve patient care. There is also demand for the data stored in the database in research, knowledge-based management and official duties, i.e. in the secondary use of health and social data. We offer data content that can be used to increase the impact of health and social services.

When client and patient data are recorded in social welfare and health care and pharmacies, they are stored in the Kanta Services. These data are subsequently refined into an easy-to-use format on the Kanta data platform for research, statistics and official needs. The data platform collects client and patient data from all Kanta services, making the data centrally available for various secondary uses.

Utilising health care and social welfare data

Citizens' social welfare and health care data in the database form a unique body of data from a research perspective. The data processed on the data platform can be utilised, for example

  • in research
  • in knowledge-based management
  • in statistics
  • in development and innovation activities
  • in teaching.

For example, the data collected from Kanta serve as the basis for a national diabetes registry to monitor and improve the quality of diabetes care. Read more about how the diabetes register is used in piloting the utilisation of Kanta data (in Finnish). We also collect and transmit data to

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The wellbeing services counties and private service providers will be able to request their own counties’ statistical data directly from Kanta from the beginning of 2024. These data can be utilised for a number of different purposes, such as knowledge-based management and the development of health services.

Available Kanta data content

As our services and their use expand in social welfare and health care, the amount of data content for secondary use is also increasing.

What is special about Kanta's client and patient data is that, as a rule, they cover data from the entire country and for all citizens. This makes it possible for researchers to obtain data for research purposes in a uniform format from one place and with a single application.

At the moment, the data material available in Kanta includes  

  • prescriptions and dispensing
  • diagnostics
  • laboratory and vaccination data
  • procedures
  • physiological measurements
  • medical statements.

Next in the pipeline for secondary use of patient data are

  • emergency medical report data
  • risk data
  • oral health care data.

The first social welfare client data will become available for secondary use during 2024. These data will include information about client relationship management and decisions.

Findata awards access permits for research data

The right to secondary use of the data produced by Kanta must be applied for from Findata, the Finnish Social and Health Data Permit Authority. The data catalogue maintained by Findata and THL contains more detailed descriptions of the data produced by Kanta:

It is also possible to combine the materials with other data, such as material you have collected, or material obtained with permission from another party. The data are combined by Findata or a statistical authority.

Health and social data are processed under strict data protection rules

Personal data cannot be linked to a specific person for secondary use of the data. When research is carried out with Kanta data, the studies are targeted at patient and customer groups, and the data submitted for them are primarily pseudonymised. Pseudonymisation refers to the processing of personal data in such a way that personal data can no longer be linked to a specific person without additional information.

Findata's operations are supervised by the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman and Valvira, among other supervisory bodies. The use of data is determined by the Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data.

Further information

Last updated 12.12.2023