Today, IBM announced a partnership with Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency that will enable Finland will be able to utilize Watson Health’s cognitive computing to help doctors improve the health of its citizens, and strengthen and develop the Finnish innovation and business ecosystem in the fields of health and well-being.
This new partnership is expected to accelerate creation of new start-up companies in Finland, gain new opportunities for Finland companies for global growth, and help to digitalize the country’s healthcare business sector for companies of all sizes.
As part of the partnership, Finnish doctors and researchers will work with Watson Health data scientists, engineers, researchers and designers to develop a new generation of data-driven healthcare applications and solutions, advancing R&D and innovation in Finland. IBM also intends to establish a Watson Health Center of Excellence in Finland, the first Nordic Healthcare Competence Center, and the first National Imaging Center of Excellence outside the United States in Finland. These centers are expected to employ 150 people over the next few years.
Fhe University of Jyväskylä in Central Finland aims to use Finnish health and well-being data to develop applications on the Watson Health Cloud, with the aim of improving the healthcare of Finland’s citizens. The goal is to develop these applications in accordance with the healthcare regulatory landscape, while also supporting the regional economy in a fruitful manner. “University of Jyväskylä has been experimenting with IBM Watson collaboration and it has been very fruitful. Digitalization and digital services is one of the core fields in our strategy and we are happy to take the next step in cooperation with IBM,” says Rector Matti Manninen.
IBM has been operating in Finland since 1936, with multiple business divisions that are active in various industry sectors that are strategic for national development, from manufacturing to healthcare. With its headquarters in Helsinki, IBM Finland has become a cognitive and cloud platform company that digitally transforms companies and industries in Finland.
Finland is also a European forerunner in designing new legislation for secondary and secure use of data on well-being and health. Enabling regulation is believed to open new opportunities for research, development and innovations.
“The combination of world-leading information and communications technology competences with health and well-being solutions are already creating world-leading health-tech innovations in Finland. In Finland, the close collaboration among health-tech companies, top-notch researchers and world-class hospitals has created a strong health eco-system, called the ‘Health Valley’,” said Pekka Soini, director general of Tekes. “I am positive that Watson cognitive computing capabilities will further boost innovation in Finland and put Finland at the forefront of game-changing health transformation, at the European level and in the global marketplace. Foremost, we believe the collaboration will benefit both IBM and Finland, and the development work conducted in Finland will further advance Watson’s capabilities.”