When you’re remodeling your apartment, you don’t think, “this is going to look awful.” Instead, you think, “It’s up to me; I’m going to make it amazing!” This is how Ville Koiste, Specialist for the Capacity for Renewal at SITRA, the Finnish Innovation Fund, summed up SOTE (the Health and Social Care Reform) at a Life Science Group event recently.
The notion that health and social care in Finland is changing dramatically is already an established fact. Despite the open questions, such as how procurements, ICT systems and market access will be organized in the on-going SOTE reform, certain directions are already taking shape. The prevailing cornerstone is that the individual customer is placed at the center.
Customers will be given many opportunities to increase their quality of life, especially in terms of preventive care. New ways to avoid acute care visits are shaping up: through the better tracking of data, understanding habits and increasing motivation. If you need to visit a physician, there will be a place for that, but the aim is to help people stay healthy longer.
In addition to the changing face of healthcare, the biggest takeaway from our event about the SOTE reform from the business perspective was that the future will give us “asset light” business models based in digital platforms, per Ville Koiste, and those are an integral part of SOTE.
In the future, healthcare will not amount to a brick-and-mortar building that you physically visit. Instead, it will be a network of services packaged together to meet the needs of an individual. In practice, the new SOTE centers will be a new way of thinking based on services provided through ecosystems. Any one business cannot provide all of this, so they group together into ecosystems that, together, cover the needs of the customer.
New ways to provide services favor ecosystems of relevant players working together to offer industries, such as the insurance industry, for example, platforms that allow preventive care to individual customers. A good example of such a model is described in the recently published blog about Wellmo.
Regulation is inevitable in all reforms. Legislation for the secondary use of health data is currently in the making, which is great news, especially for research and development. The aim is to ensure the wise and sustainable use of Finland’s great assets in health-related data. While following the reform as it progresses, the business community must make its voice heard.
SOTE gives unprecedented opportunities for players across the health and social fields: it is the biggest reform in the history of Finland. Martti Hetemäki, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, recently said at an Amcham Finland event that the government is setting up a war room to secure all aspects of the upcoming SOTE reform.
You don’t need to wait for future business opportunities – they’re already taking place. Change is happening, and it will be a success.