The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA) has selected EMC to build a new centralised national patient record archive to securely store over 5m health records in what will become Finland’s largest database.

The project aims to deliver an electronic prescription service later this year, followed by the completion of a comprehensive patient record and image archive in 2009.

The new ‘KanTa’ archiving system, valued at approximately €20m, will serve as many as 300,000 professionals within the Finnish public healthcare and pharmacies, as well as private medical clinics. KanTa will store the records of 5.3m citizens.

The national KanTa system will provide all the 5.3m Finnish citizens with access to information concerning their personal medical information. Citizens will be able to ensure the protection of their personal data by limiting the type of data displayed on their medical profiles.

“By streamlining the information management processes of the entire healthcare sector, the system is predicted to improve clinical productivity while generating major financial savings,” an EMC spokesperson told E-Health Europe.

“The centralised KanTa record archive, complete with the ‘citizen view’ option, is the first of its kind in the world. Together with the electronic prescription service, the feature will provide a new level of patient security further enabling patient information confidentiality. Coupled with the sheer data volume the system stores and operates, it will quickly become the largest database in Finland,” they added.

Markku Suominen, chief information officer at KELA, said: “The new unified national patient record archive, based on EMC technology, will provide the entire healthcare sector with radically more efficient operational models. As physicians are able to have access to all patient information regardless of where previous treatment has taken place – based on an agreement with the patient – the entire national healthcare system should benefit from this streamlined process.

“The Finnish citizens will benefit from a single online information source, which will provide them with an unforeseen opportunity to participate and influence their personal medical care.”

KanTa will use an end-to-end architecture consisting of EMC Documentum, EMC Symmetrix and EMC Centera, providing all critical information management – including content management, storage and archiving – and is designed to support extremely large data volumes.

The EMC Documentum platform will manage all content on the system. Patient and prescription data will be stored on several high-end Symmetrix storage systems and archived on Centera content addressed storage systems.

EMC Corporation says the end-to-end combination of platform, software and services is designed to ensure significant system scalability needed for optimum patient care delivery – the system is estimated to reach 500 petabytes in the next decade.

All 300,000 healthcare professionals will have user licenses and KELA will have separate environments for production, test and development, to make sure there is minimal disruption to users and ensure the system is as reliable and robust as possible, whilst providing more efficient communications and streamlined operational practices for the entire healthcare sector in Finland.

Yves Mahieu, EMEA director of healthcare at EMC Corporation, said: “The EMC information infrastructure is designed to integrate content management seamlessly with robust storage and archiving solutions to form the cornerstone of the national e-health patient record archive.

“The advanced solution will provide the Social Insurance Institution of Finland with the flexibility to grow and develop the patient record archive as its information management requirements and sheer data dimensions grow.”


Social Insurance Institution of Finland

EMC Corporation