Pekka Kahri: It is important to share and learn how innovative procurement has been used in practice

Pekka Kahri: It is important to share and learn how innovative procurement has been used in practice

An interview with the Technology Officer at Helsinki University Hospital and one of the speakers of the upcoming Research and Innovation Days 2021

Pekka Kahri is the Technology Officer at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS): the biggest public healthcare provider and academic medical centre in Finland. HUS is further considered to be one of Europe’s leading hospitals using digitalisation.

This year, Kahri will attend and speak at the EU’s Research and Innovation Days. You can follow the event and Kahri’s workshop “Unleashing innovation procurement for health and care” by registering for the two-day event.

Mr Kahri, what does your role as a Technology Officer at the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) entail?

I engage with internal and external stakeholders in order to boost public-private collaborations focusing on digital health, health data and medical devices. My main objective is to help link the best innovators and technology providers with HUS clinicians and their real-life needs. This is done through bilateral partnerships, ecosystems like CleverHealth network and innovative public procurement.

How does HUS, one of Europe’s leading hospitals in digitalisation and the biggest academic medical centre in Finland, use innovation in its day-to-day work?

A lot of innovation happens on the clinical level as continuous development and lean principles are guiding there. Common infrastructure like the HUS datalake and IT systems like Digital Health Village are essential technology platforms, supported by analytics and R&D development competencies of the HUS’ IT department.

This year, you will represent the HUS and speak at the 2021 Research and Innovation Days. Can you comment on what you will present at this event?

I will be sharing an experience where our neurosurgery department used innovative procurement processes to find development partners for the development of an AI algorithm. Their aim is to predict how Traumatic Brain Injury patient's state is developing in the ICU based on patient monitoring data. Traditional open tenders did not meet their need, so the approach taken there was a bit different.

Taking the previous question further, what motivated HUS to participate?

I feel it is important to share and learn from others how innovative procurement has been used in practice. Often the "textbook examples" do not work as such since the situations and context can be so different.

Finally, what will the event’s attendees gain from the discussion?

Interesting cases and perspectives into using public procurement in innovation and digital health.

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