Ratas at the Northern Future Forum: future healthcare will be focused on prevention

Nov 01
Created: 01 November 2018

At the Northern Future Forum, which focused on health technology, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas assured that developing a patient-centred health care system is one of Estonian priorities. “Our aim is to prevent sickness using data analysed by artificial intelligence that is able to consider all individual circumstances,” Ratas said.

In Estonia, an artificial intelligence or kratt uses four major databases. The system is capable of considering thousands of factors. Kratt will not replace doctors, but it will boost personalised medicine to a whole new level. 

“Kratt’s help on individual diagnoses will hopefully help people get to doctors’ appointments faster and avoid unnecessary visits altogether. Financing a health care system based on individual needs will help to develop the system accordingly. When processing health data, we must, of course, always protect privacy and people must be in control of their own data,” Ratas said.

The Northern Future Forum was initiated by the United Kingdom in 2011. Its objective is to provide the leaders of the Nordic countries, the Baltic states, and the United Kingdom a chance to discuss their future visions in a less official manner and include specialists of respective fields. This year’s meeting focused on the subjects of health technology: making health care services more available with technology, avoid unnecessary appointments, use enchance public procurements to encourage innovation and develop technology based on individual needs.

Prime Minister Ratas was accompanied by specialists Tõnu Esko from the Estonian Genome Centre, Priit Kruus from Dermtest, and Priit Tohver from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

During the Forum, Ratas briefly met with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipilä to discuss their preparations for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Finland will lead the negotiations of EU Member States in the second half of next year.

After the Forum, Ratas and Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, discussed the current state of the Brexit negotiations. Ratas expressed hope that all 27 Member States and United Kingdom will reach an agreement. “At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that, at some point, we might have to separate without an agreement. We must be prepared. But this moment has not yet come. A mutually beneficial agreement is the best solution for the citizens and enterprises of both the European Union and the United Kingdom,” Ratas said.

This afternoon, Ratas will meet with a delegation of Norwegian entrepreneurs who are considering investing in Estonia or are already operating here to discuss the Estonian economic environment and future plans.

Official photographs of the Northern Future Forum: https://www.flickr.com/photos/statsministerenskontor/albums/721576997259...

Photos by Government Communication Unit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e6ngi7cdojqkm3p/AACzyiNro0fEhUCaEOHKjKYia?dl=0