Strategic synergy: Siemens Healthineers & Metropolia

11.10.2023 - 13:00

Public-private partnership boosts health innovation in Helsinki Metropolitan

Metropolia's simulation hospitalHealthcare challenges can’t be solved by any single organisation. The health ecosystem in Helsinki Metropolitan, Finland, is a tight-knit network of world-class organisations working together. A great example of this is the strategic public-private partnership of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Siemens Healthineers. The partnership between Finland’s largest university of applied sciences and one of the leading medtech companies globally promotes sustainable wellbeing in a variety of ways.

Metropolia’s and Siemens Healthineers’ letter of intent for research, development and education collaboration was signed in 2021 and the partnership has been broadening and deepening ever since. Minna Elomaa-Krapu, Innovation Director for Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, says that at the core of the partnership, there is a shared vision of future. As use of advanced health technology is gaining ground in hospitals, it’s important to keep up with the health tech development.

“Siemens Healthineers is a great partner for us in this regard, since the company is a forerunner in technology and shares our view on wellbeing,” she says, adding that having Siemens Healthineers to support and mentor the university provides immense value.

“We feel that Siemens Healthineers has big shoulders and we have common trust that makes it all work.”

Win-win-win with public-private partnerships

Ossi Koskinen

Ossi Koskinen, Corporate Key Account Executive at Siemens Healthineers, says that such public-private partnerships can have tremendous upside.

“Looking at the challenges of Health & Wellbeing, it is clear that nobody solves them alone,” says Koskinen.

“Metropolia and Siemens Healthineers have a common take on those challenges and are working together to address them.”

As Finnish population is one of the oldest in Europe, this alone places a tremendous strain on the healthcare system – and in a country known for great distances, availability of services (or lack thereof) is always an issue.

“Technological solutions can help in finding a better balance for healthcare sector in Finland,” he says.

Latest tech in radiographer education

Heli Patanen

One example where Siemens Healthineers hi-tech has given a clear boost to Metropolia is the university’s radiographer training. Senior Lecturer Heli Patanen, the Head of the Radiographer Degree program at Metropolia, says that the program has been included in the Metropolia education portfolio for decades already, but picked up momentum as Siemens Healthineers became involved as a tech partner three years ago.

“We have a wide range of collaboration with Siemens Healthineers and are using their equipment during the studies,” she explains.

Since the Siemens Healthineers technology is pretty common in hospitals around Finland, it makes sense to get acquainted with the tech while still in school.

“Having early access to this equipment gives our graduating radiologists a better starting point in their working life.”

The 3.5-year degree program produces about 50 radiographers per year.

Collaboration in many forms

Minna Elomaa-Krapu

As it stands, radiology tech is just one slice off a much bigger pie. Ossi Koskinen explains that Siemens Healthineers develops innovative solutions for critical pathways from prevention to diagnosis and patient recovery. In Finland, the health technology supplied by Siemens Healthineers is widely used in both public and private sectors.

“Our collaboration with Metropolia also helps us to get into national consortiums and projects in the field of wellbeing,” Koskinen says.

In Metropolia, on the other hand, the aim of its Customer-oriented Wellbeing and Health Services innovation hub is to strengthen needs-based wellbeing and health tech expertise – as well as support the RDI expertise of health technology companies.

Minna Elomaa-Krapu explains that Metropolia has also developed – together with HUS Helsinki University Hospital and the City of Helsinki – a preclinical/clinical research and testing platform, by the name of Health Proof Helsinki, to maximise this support.

“Via Health Proof Helsinki, we are able to provide a service path and a service catalogue for companies of the health tech sector,” she says.

Founded in autumn 2022, the Health Proof Helsinki platform is now moving into implementation phase. Siemens Healthineers is keeping a keen eye on the platform, as well.

“We are analysing the platform and looking for projects where we could contribute,” adds Ossi Koskinen.

From digital health village to digital twins

Metropolia's simulation hospitalDigitalisation-related competence is also promoted via Metropolia’s HyMy Village which is a people-oriented, ecosystem-based multidisciplinary learning and development platform.

“We are producing, for example, supplementary services for Health & Wellbeing. The aim of HyMy Village is to become more digital by nature over time,” says Elomaa-Krapu.

In addition, Metropolia has made strides with the digital twin approach. Metropolia’s simulation hospital concept features thousands of square metres of actual space that is now finding – more and more – its counterpart in the metaverse.

“We are developing towards a true smart hospital, with real digital twin capability,” confirms Elomaa-Krapu.

Not surprisingly, Siemens Healthineers is involved in the evolution of the sim-hospital, as well.

Helsinki health ecosystem sharing one vision

Discussing the state of Health & Wellbeing in Finland’s capital region, Elomaa-Krapu and Koskinen feel that collaboration, innovation and proximity are the key drivers for success here. The local Health ecosystem keeps branching out to various directions, but there is also a shared attitude and mindset: working together, one can achieve great things in healthcare.

“I really see it as a living, breathing ecosystem that is working under one unifying vision,” Elomaa-Krapu sums up.

Original article published by Health Capital Helsinki: Strategic synergy: Siemens Healthineers & Metropolia - Public-private partnership boosts health innovation in Helsinki Metropolitan