In his speech, Esko Aho, President of Sitra, pointed out that the ability to harness and make concrete use of the benefits provided by technological development is one of the most important preconditions for developing healthcare. Crucial to all cases of change is being systematic, change management and commitment to the process. India, like China, is another important market area. Changes can be adopted even quite quickly, as shown, for example, by the rapid spread of mobile phones in India.
The participants also learned more about the high standards of medical expertise in India through a video lecture given by Doctor Devi Prasad Shetty. He showed that a country need not be rich in order to be able to make use of the latest technology in healthcare. He talked about heart hospitals established for newborns which use state-of-the art technology in heart surgery, and the “Health City” concept for setting up specialised hospitals for 5,000 people in the capitals of all Indian states. Doctor Shetty is also in charge of the world’s largest telemedicine programme and provides consultancy to 23 localities through the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The latest ICT practices in healthcare were presented in the seminar by several companies. The presentations included Nokia-Siemens Networks and the transfer of health information in remote areas, promoting medicine based on the use of Duodecim’s Terveyskirjasto healthcare library, Medixine’s growth screen, which is an example of investigating the health of the child population, a national patient archive and the patient’s own information management: the Cel AManz health capsule.
The outcome of the seminar’s closing discussions was that there is a demand in India for advanced Finnish healthcare technologies, processes and services. The next step is to establish contacts in order to look for new partners and business opportunities and to discover the cooperation, investment and financing alternatives available through different parties.