Social and healthcare

Under the legislation, customer and patient data and administrative data, i.e. data that can be used for secondary purposes in addition to the primary purpose, are collected on the basis of social welfare and healthcare activities.

Finland and other Nordic countries are pioneers in the reuse of social and health care data, better known as register research. All Nordic countries have a large number of registers in different fields, including the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Fimea and Biobanks.

In Finland, register data can be obtained for use in RDI activities in accordance with a research plan, mainly through the Social and Health Data Permit Authority, Findata, by means of a licence application. Data collected in the social and health care sector can also be accessed from an individual data controller, organisation, or welfare area.

The data collected in the social and health care sector is mainly sensitive personal data, which is processed for research and development purposes in accordance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and national data protection legislation and in accordance with good scientific practice in a secure environment. The potential of data in the social and health sectors could be significantly increased, which will require the development of skills of experts and researchers in these fields.

In the social and health sector, the FairDatAct project’s activities will mainly focus on developing the skills needed for the secondary use of data, as follows:

  • We will carry out a methodological article, using the methodology of the literature review, describing the potential and limitations of register research and the functioning of Findata.
  • We will implement a web-based learning environment on the application of register research methods in the development of social and health care services. The learning environment consists of individual modules that can be customised for students and experts in different fields, both for self-study and for graduate teaching.