Success Clinic: Strong growth from Nordic health registers
Founded in 2005, Success Clinic is now Finland’s leading research office in the field of healthcare. For a long time the profitable company was operating solely in Finland but in recent years it has been involved in commercialising health registers in the Nordic countries and is now looking for growth from the export markets.
“The turning point came about five years ago when we started utilising different health registers in our research and analyses. As it started growing into a bigger part of our business, we realised that similar registers might also be found in the other Nordic countries,” says Mika Teikari, founder and CEO of Success Clinic.
In 2015, market research conducted with funding support from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation revealed attractive pools of registers in all the Nordic countries. Success Clinic specializes in combining different registers and bringing them up to date as well as in developing tools that enable the more efficient analysis of the data.
“The health register systems are often very complex. Different authorities have been assigned different kinds of responsibilities and the data has been dispersed in many different places. Each register has slightly different content that can be synthesized in a slightly different way. It is extremely laborious to investigate them. This is why generalizing indicators about a particular target group in a particular country or region are hardly in use,” Teikari explains.
Support and networking
Following the market research, Success Clinic has quickly entered the Nordic markets and Finpro’s Digital Hospitals program has supported the company’s speedy internationalisation. For example, Success Clinic has participated in a Team Finland seminar in Helsinki and a round table discussion in Denmark focusing on Danish healthcare data.
“At the seminar it was very useful to talk with all the representatives of the Team Finland countries and many ambassadors. We gained many concrete tips from there about how to go forward,” says Teikari.
The same event also provided a platform for interesting discussions with other Finnish health sector companies.
“We were aware of each other before but had not undertaken any concrete cooperation. So far there is no official cooperation as such but the discussions are positive from both the export and domestic networking perspective.”
Initial focus on the Danish market
According to Teikari, the round table discussion organised in Copnehagen was very fruitful because the participants included many local experts with a detailed understanding of the Danish health care system.
“We received good support and contacts from the local actors especially relating to research on the Danish registers and for going through the entirety of the country’s health care system. The Danish system is the most challenging of the Nordic countries so there we need the most extensive cooperation networks possible. In addition to interesting private sector companies, we also had the opportunity to network with the public authorities.”
Success Clinic has now established an office in Denmark and the first projects with the Danish health authorities have started.
“I’m just leaving for Denmark for discussions with their health authorities concerning different data release conditions and definitions of use in order to support their legislation, and also to learn more about their system,” says Teikari.
Interest in the Finnish model
Denmark is actively following how Finland is proceeding with its own projects on the secondary use of health data.
“Finland is slightly ahead of the other Nordic countries in terms legislation on health data use, so they are very interested in hearing more about this topic. It has clearly been a big issue and has speeded up the opening of our Danish office,” says Teikari.
Finland’s model for planning and developing the use of health data is also attracting global interest.
“Thanks to the biobank laws, there is the opportunity to conduct high-quality clinical research in Finland, which is very challenging in many parts of the world. Because Finland’s health registers are in such a good state, comprehensive and reliable, this creates quite an ideal research environment. Major investments are being directed to Finland specifically on the basis of the good new legislation and operating model.”
In early 2016, Tekes granted Success Clinic more funding to develop the Nordic health registers. Client projects have already commenced in all the Nordic countries and the next office is currently being set up in Sweden.
“The export growth has been extremely promising. Over the next ten years, we are looking for turnover in the tens of millions of euros from the Nordic countries and this looks like a very realistic target,” says Teikari.
The cooperation that has started so productively with Finpro’s Digital Hospitals program will also continue in the future.
“Our work depends a great deal on how well laws and the cooperation with the authorities are implemented. In the export market, working with the authorities is often much easier and more effective when there are more stakeholders involved. All the official support is important and particularly the embassies and Finpro play an important role there.”