Processing times dropped significantly
During our third year of operation, we focused on the establishment and further development of our statutory services. We completed the Lean project on data permit application processing that we launched last year and reformed the actual process, which resulted in a significant drop in waiting times for our permit clients. The eligibility for processing of the incoming applications is currently assessed in about a week’s time. Towards the end of the year, we published Findata’s first pre-prepared data set, the theme of which was COVID-19.
The infrastructure for the operating environments of social welfare and health care data began to take shape with the entry into force of the requirement for secure operating environments of the Act on Secondary Use of and Health Data on 1 May 2022. At the end of the year, nine audited environments from different service providers had already been registered in Valvira’s Toini register. We accelerated the formation of the national ecosystem of operating environments by creating a cooperation network of service providers for the purpose of finding functional solutions together with different service providers, inspection bodies and authorities.
“The European Health Data Space (EHDS) regulation proposal published in May will show the direction for developing Findata’s operations in the future. The preparation for the implementation of the EHDS continued in the TEHDAS project of the European Commission and in the pilot project launched in October together with Finnish institute for health and welfare THL and VTT. As in previous years, the number of international requests for visits and presentations remained high.”
– Johanna Seppänen, PhD, Director
Findata is a key implementer of the Act on Secondary Use. At the beginning of the year, the Administrative Court issued the first court decision on the application of the Act, confirming Findata’s interpretation of the Act. In the spring, together with Sitra and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, we organised a series of workshops to clarify the interpretations of the Act. All the collaborative areas, the Central Uusimaa Joint Municipality Authority for Health Care and Social Services Keusote and the University of Eastern Finland were represented.
The European Health Data Space (EHDS) regulation proposal published in May will show the direction for developing Findata’s operations in the future. The preparation for the implementation of the EHDS continued in the TEHDAS project of the European Commission and in the pilot project launched in October together with Finnish institute for health and welfare THL and VTT. We also organised a conference with the French Health Data Hub in Paris as part of the official programme of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The theme of the conference was the European perspective on the utilisation of health data. As in previous years, the number of international requests for visits and presentations remained high.
The introduction of wellbeing services counties will also have a significant impact on Findata’s operating environment. Last autumn, we were already preparing for the transfer of the controllership of social welfare and health care data from municipalities to wellbeing services counties. Another major change affecting our operations is the opportunity to extract data directly from Kanta services. Last year, the offering of data that can be retrieved from Kanta services for secondary use was expanded, and similar development will hopefully continue this year.
Johanna Seppänen, PhD, Director
2022 in figures
Applications and decisions
In 2022, we received a total of 270 applications and made a total of 284 decisions. The median processing time of applications dropped from 88 days at the beginning of the year to 66 days at the end of the year.
The distribution of different application types remained roughly the same as in 2021. New data permit applications and amendment applications both accounted for about 47% of the received applications, while the remaining 6% were requests for statistical data.
The share of expiry decisions continued to fall from 20% to 18%, having been as high as 33% in the first year of operation in 2020.
47 % data permit applications
47 % amendment applications
6 % data requests
82 % positive
18 % lapsed
< 1 % transfers of administrative matters
Intended use indicated in the application
Data was applied mainly for scientific research, just like in previous years.
Statistics was the next most common purpose of use, but its share was only four percent.
One data permit was applied for the planning and reporting duties of an authority, and no data were applied for teaching.
According to the Act, only statistical data can be applied for development and innovation activities, knowledge management and guidance and supervision of a social and healthcare authority.
|Intended use referred to in the Act||2022 pcs||2022 %||2021 pcs||2021 %|
|Planning and reporting duties of an authority||1||< 1%||4||1%|
|Development and innovation||0||0%||3||1%|
|Knowledge management||2||< 1%||0||0%|
|Guidance and supervision of a social and healthcare authority||0||0%||0||0%|
Controllers and organisations associated with the highest numbers of applications
The demand was greatest for national registers. About 90 percent of the applications sought information from the registers of the three most popular registrars – Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Kela and/or Statistics Finland.
The next most applied were the data of hospital districts and the Digital and Population Information Agency. In total, last year we issued data permits for the data of 56 different controllers.
|Popularity||Controller||Number of applications 2022||Number of applications 2021|
|1.||Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)||110||113|
|4.||Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS)||43||27|
|5.||Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV)||42||29|
|6.||Southwest Finland Hospital District (VSSHP)||33||27|
|7.||Pirkanmaa Hospital District (PSHP)||28||14|
|8.||Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District (PPSHP)||23||8|
|9.||North Savo Hospital District (PSSHP)||22||11|
|10.||Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK)||15||15|
The shares of public and private sector applicants remained quite same in 2022 compared to the previous year.
In the majority (71%) of the applications, the main applicant was from the public sector. The share of applicants from the private sector was 26%. The share of applicants from the third sector was very small, around 3%.
We categorize the background of the applicants according to the main applicant. Some of the permits have been granted to projects or consortia that involve not only the main applicant but also other sectors.
|Public sector||192||71 %||206||66 %|
|Private sector||69||26 %||91||29 %|
|Third sector||9||3 %||14||5 %|
Data requests and deliveries
A new phenomenon for 2022 was the significant increase in the processing of extensive textual data sets. The textual data sets requested to be pre-processed and combined increased in quantity, and they were also more extensive than before.
After the entry into force of the secure operating environment requirement of the Act on Secondary Use on 1 May 2022, new environments were being audited at a rapid pace. We started working with the service providers of the new operating environments and developing tools related to the secure transfer of data, for example.
The volume of result data anonymity verifications increased clearly. In 2022, we verified the anonymity of clients’ results a total of 416 times. In 86% of the verifications, the results were found to be acceptable as they were, whereas in 13% of the cases, we found something to correct in the contents of the results. Most typically, the problems were related to the presentation of small frequency data or individual personal data.
As in previous years, we continued our data description work on social welfare and health care data by offering training to controllers and by developing tools, the Data editor and the Data catalogue.
submitted data requests
data sets received
data sets delivered
data packages delivered
Around 5 sets/package
The number of Findata’s secure Kapseli operating environments more than doubled during past year.
There were 113 Kapseli’s in use at the end of 2022, with 830 registered users. In total, EUR 229 000 were paid for their use, which is EUR 153 000 more than in 2021.
A new phenomenon was the increase in the processing of data in Kapseli’s that have a permit from an authority other than Findata.
|Computing capacity||2022 pcs||2022 %||2021 pcs||2022 %|
|Small||40||35 %||19||37 %|
|Medium||32||28 %||15||29 %|
|Large||35||31 %||17||33 %|
|Extra large||6||5 %||1||2 %|
|Total||113||100 %||52||100 %|
Distribution of costs of register data use
A total of EUR 1.74 million was paid for the secondary use of social welfare and health care data through Findata in 2022. This figure includes all fees for decisions concerning new data permits, amendment permits and data requests, as well as the controllers’ data extraction costs and subscription fees for Kapseli environment.
On average, 22% of the fees collected from customers consisted of Findata’s decision fee and the costs of processing the material. The processing costs arise from combining data sets collected from controllers, pseudonymisation or anonymisation, and delivering the data to a secure operating environment.
Respectively, on average 78% of the total bill paid by the customer consisted of data extraction costs charged by controllers to customers.
EUR 380 000
Data processing EUR 215 000
+ EUR 186 000 compared to 2021
EUR 1 362 000
+ EUR 300 000 compared to 2021
Findata’s permit and data processing fees vs. data controller’s extraction costs in 2022
Top10 data controllers in 2022
|Position||Controller||Amount invoiced (EUR)||Data permits with data from the controller (pcs)|
|1.||Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS)||292 509||38|
|3.||Pirkanmaa Hospital District (PSHP)||198 523||24|
|4.||Southwest Finland Hospital District (VSSHP)||164 997||33|
|5.||Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)||137 190||79|
|6.||Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV)||106 767||30|
|7.||North Savo Hospital District (PSSHP)||51 801||20|
|8.||Statistics Finland||18 425||53|
|9.||Finnish Institute for Occupational Health (TTL)||17 025||3|
|10.||Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK)||15 484||20|
|Total||1 270 479||366|
Last year, we comprehensively developed our online services. We published a reconceptualized version of our website findata.fi and modified the contents of our e-service to be more customer-oriented. At the same time, we updated Findata’s visual appearance. In addition, we implemented language maintenance for the entire website and other customer instructions, forms and decision documents.
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