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With national and European data and computing infrastructures including the EuroHPC LUMI, Finland has world-class RDI tools for health at its disposal. To exploit this potential, European and national regulation must create opportunities for the secure use of health data. National legislation regulating the secondary use of social and health data must be reformed in such a way as to facilitate the re-use and combination of data, and regulations on secure processing environments in Finland and the EU must revised so, that they allow the use of supercomputers in research on secondary health data.

High-performance computing is an important enabler of the objectives of the EU Health Union. It has already contributed to improving health safety by, e.g. analysing the functioning and spread of the coronavirus and creating opportunities for modelling different threat situations. Supercomputers are also a key platform for the creation of artificial intelligence models for drug development, the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, and the promotion of personalised medicine and treatment tools in European languages. Such opportunities will grow in the future, thanks to advances in the European Health Data Space and the 1 million genomes project.

Well-managed, comprehensive and versatile data is the raw material for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and advanced health research. Finland and the EU must invest in the availability, reusability and management of data. Regulation must support these goals, in order to make the most of research infrastructure investments and tools like supercomputers in health RDI activities and development of artificial intelligence solutions for Finnish-language healthcare. In the future, they must also enable the secure use of high-performance computing in a comprehensive and versatile manner for health data that is subject to data protection and other regulations. The regulations must be technology-neutral and set and describe the state and objectives of security without detailing the means by which they are to be achieved.

To maximise the benefits of national and European supercomputer resources, we also need to invest in data management infrastructures and know-how. Better – federated or direct – data infrastructure connections, e.g. between EuroHPC centres and data resources in the health and bio sector, will bring future potential to address increasingly diverse health challenges such as pandemics and antibiotic resistance. In addition, use of high-performance computing on data subject to data protection or intellectual property rights, for example in the case of predictive artificial intelligence models, requires that service development includes data management and domain-specific data protection expertise in the context of large computing capacity.

Read the full statement (in Finnish) (pdf)