INSEAD Alumni Association had a unique opportunity to see the Helsinki Academic Medical Center (HUS & UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI) in Meilahti Campus. Due to this special “behind the scenes” nature of the visit we also invited our peers from other top business schools (Harvard, MIT, Standford etc) to join and had a few visitors with us.
Meilahti is the biggest medical campus in Scandinavia after Karolinska, and in care and research it ranked as 5th in Europe and 48th worldwide in 2011. Thus it presents a huge inter-disciplinary hub of expertise and innovation in Finland.
First we toured the Meilahti hospital in small groups - with very expert hosts and lots of Q&A:
· Cardiovascular Laboratory, with Docent Mika Laine
· Operations Rooms, with Docent Irma Jousela
· BioMag Laboratory, with Docent Juha Montonen
We saw examples of e.g., blocked arteries or ablation treated with state-of-art remote control tools, a heart transplant, and how electronic activities of the brain can be monitored/located for treatment and/or stimulated – and we thought there was a lot of untapped potential for commercializing Finnish innovation.
Thereafter we heard a super set of lectures from world-class researchers at Biomedicum Faculty Club:
· Professor Kari Alitalo: " Molecular cancer biology: possibilities and challenges"
· Professor Kimmo Porkka: "New therapies in blood diseases"
Both lectures were mind-blowing in portraying the depth, quality and innovation in current Finnish research and know-how in the medical field. Many of us commented simply “Wau. Sci-fi!”
After a delicious meal our host, Medical Director Markku Mäkijärvi summarized some stats and strategies for HUS, followed by discussion and dessert. Although the total visit lasted well over 5.5 hrs, we certainly were not bored but rather intrigued and inspired all the way through!