Finnish healthcare companies are showcasing health technology and innovations at this year’s edition of Arab Health in collaboration with Business Finland.

According to research by Colliers International Healthcare Analysis, healthcare expenditure is expected to reach US$2.4bn by 2025 and $3.6bn by 2030, with increases in healthcare spending from private and public sources being the most significant drivers. A report by Fitch Solutions estimates the MENA healthcare market will grow to $243.6bn by 2023. It goes on to project the region’s medical technology market will grow to $11bn by 2021.

Over the last century, Finland has made great strides economically and in the development of new technologies. Its population is also becoming healthier. According to the World Health Organisation’s 2019 Finland Country Health Profile, mortality from treatable causes in Finland is lower than the European average, signalling its healthcare system performs well in prevention, treatment and recovery, ultimately saving lives of its citizens.

What makes Finland’s healthcare system one of the most efficient in the world is its foundation of world-class research and technology talent. According to Business Finland’s data, the small European country has more research and development professionals and healthcare start-ups per capita than any other country.

Meria Heikelä, Business Finland’s director responsible for healthcare internationalisation, explained the decision to exhibit at Arab Health: “Finland has established itself as a healthcare giant despite its small size and population. The Finnish companies we partnered with are excellent examples of the innovations we are launching in Finland, using the very latest and scalable technologies and mobile solutions that offer enhanced healthcare and patient outcomes, improved efficiency and long-term value for money.

“Healthcare technology is one of Finland’s fastest-growing technology exports. In the past 20 years, healthcare exports have increased five-fold, exceeding €2.3bn in 2018. Arab Health presents Finnish companies with a unique opportunity to share their latest innovations with MENA and global healthcare organisations. We have developed a strong relationship with the UAE and we hope this exhibition provides a platform for our Finnish partner companies to connect with healthcare bodies, private hospitals and distributors from throughout the region.”

Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Marianne Nissilä, provided insights into how Finland has become such a major player in healthcare technology: “Finland has a long history of technical expertise and many world-class technology companies call Finland home. We have created a strong start-up culture, supported by the Finnish government and an enabling legislation that encourages and nurtures entrepreneurial spirit. Our leading education system provides an abundance of world-class engineers and scientists, who are the driving force behind our innovative curiosity and accomplishments.”

Finland has embraced digitalisation in healthcare and wellbeing and 100 per cent of Finland’s patient records are in digital format, enabling ease of access. The Finnish gene pool is isolated, making the country an exceptionally good place for research as the available data allows researchers to reach valid results faster. Finland has created a network of biobanks and data pools, which has attracted investment from global healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, building a robust ecosystem comprising technology innovators and research organisations.

Finland’s culture of growth and innovation is embodied by the collaborative relationship between the public and private sectors, with both working towards the common goals of creating solutions that are ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Visitors to the Finnish stand at Arab Health will be able to experience SurgeryVision, ADESANTE’s flagship product, which is a surgery planning solution utilising virtual reality technology. The technology enables surgeons to plan procedures using stereoscopic 3D models of complex anatomical structures. By allowing a detailed surgery plan to be formed before procedures, ADESANTE aims to reduce surgical failures.

Other technology available on the stand includes Layette’s pregnancy mobile app, which provides expectant parents with a wide range of tailored information and tips on pregnancy and children. Layette aims to combat the prevalence of false information by providing all of the necessary advice to parents, empowering individuals to take control of their own and their children’s health outcomes.

Also focusing on parents, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is demonstrating its online service that provides parents with reliable data on the growth of their child and any related abnormalities. Its goal is to use knowledge and motivation to help parents take better care of their children’s health by providing a digital medium that is both cost-effective and complements the existing available healthcare system.

VitalSignum Oy is showcasing Beat2Phone, a wearable ECG solution that can be worn around the clock by individuals or healthcare professionals. Designed to be a diagnostic tool for primary care clinicians, cardiologists, neurologists and elderly home care professionals, Beat2Phone enables preventative monitoring and observation of cardiac symptoms leading to cost and time savings and improved patient outcomes.

Stand visitors can also view Secapp’s critical communications platform, which is already in use in hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The technology can be used to alert, dispatch and coordinate activities in everyday communications to complex crisis situations. The system has been designed to assist in the preparation for, management and recuperation from critical situations, such as natural disasters, accidents and service outages.

Arctic Biomaterials is exhibiting its range of bioresorbable composite materials for medical applications, including ultra-strong glass fibre composites for load-bearing indications, including implants.

Genano, who has been in the region for over a decade, is demonstrating its GenanoTechnology, which aims to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections through its patented air decontamination system.