Genome Industry Special Interest Group (SIG)

Healthtech Genome Industry
The Genome Industry Special Interest Group (SIG) of Healthtech Finland is a community of Finnish healthtech companies operating in the field of genomics and aiming to accelerate the production and application of genomic data, genetic tests, AI and digitalization in health care, research and for people's overall wellbeing.

One of the key objectives of the Genome Industry SIG is to support integration of the technologies and services developed by the genome industry companies into public healthcare in Finland.

The genome industry along with the larger healthtech industry in Finland is a highly export-driven sector with often extensive international experience and expertise as well as highly qualified personnel. The domestic market serves as a strong reference for the companies in their international operation. 

Genomics is currently going through an AI-revolution. AI-tools are needed to process the mass amounts of data being generated by sequencing activities in Finland (e.g. from biobanks) and to extract all the valuable information and knowledge. Finland has witnessed a boom in companies which have stepped up to current challenges in genomic research and medicine and are using digital tools to either work with traditional companies or to act as drivers in innovation. AI-driven technology is now beginning to generate new products and services to support the advancement of genomic medicine.

The member community of the Genome Industry SIG represents all the major genome industry areas.

As for genetic tests, there are roughly two types: first, medical genetic tests used by professionals for clinical care, and second, direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Most genetic (incl. clinical) tests fall into the category of consumer products, as they are available at pharmacies and online stores. Genetic tests require bioinformatics, which enable the processing and combination of the produced genetic data. This is a process that enables interpreting the results of the genetic tests.

The healthcare sector in Finland needs more professionals that have the knowledge of interpreting genetic data. There is a significant need for education and trainings in this field in Finland.

Key messages:

  • Develop a trusted national and European legal framework for the responsible and ethical use of genomic data.
  • Avoid fragmentation of regulation and localized technical solutions.
  • Invest in education, new skills and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Optimize the use of innovative technologies, including bio-IT and AI technologies and genetic testing.
  • Support the shift towards prediction and prevention in healthcare.
  • Establish public-private partnerships.
  • Support the use of approved standards.
  • Facilitate interoperability, data integration and establishment of a pan-European technical infrastructure to pool genomic data and other health related data for research and healthcare purposes.