Population Health and Wellbeing: Monitoring and Foresight

Child and grand parent

The RDI Programme on Population Health and Wellbeing: Monitoring and Foresight identifies the current major challenges in the field of public health and welfare and anticipates any coming changes, develops risk assessment and effective preventive and treatment solutions at the population, the subgroup and the individual level. 

In recent decades, health, functioning and the welfare of the population have been improving according to numerous indicators. However, many positive time trends have slowed down or halted, several major challenges remain unchanged and new threats are on the rise. 

In the RDI Programme, multidisciplinary collaborative research with national and international partners makes extensive use of the rich data on population health and welfare maintained by THL and other institutions.

The programme has three focus areas collaborating with each other and THL’s other RDI Programmes:

  1. Monitoring, evaluating and projecting future changes in the health and well-being of the population based on different scenarios.
  2. Personalised health and welfare.
  3. Effective and cost-effective promotion of health and welfare.

Examples of projects in the research programme


A joint EU-Canada project to establish a data sharing and multi-cohort cardiovascular research platform. The project will integrate data infrastructures, IT solutions and data sources for increased efficiency in data-driven cardiovascular research.

Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER)

The primary objective of the study is to find out whether a multi-domain intervention could prevent cognitive decline among older people. 

P6 – Genomics to Healthcare 

The project utilizes existing genetic information to develop a novel and easy-to-use operations model for Finnish healthcare providers to treat and prevent common chronic diseases.

Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults (HeSVA)

The study assesses how being born preterm at a very low birth weight (less than 1500 g) affects the transition to adulthood and adult health and well-being.

Projections of the burden of disease and disability in Finland – health policy prospects (PoDDy-HePo) 

The project aims to obtain reliable estimates of the future development of the disease and disability burden as well as healthy and disease-free life years in the older segments of the population.

Stop Diabetes – knowledge-based solutions

The project develops and tests approaches to empower individuals to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Population studies

THL has a wide range of population studies that utilisze the extensive population data. Examples:

  • The National FINRISK Study is Finnish population survey on risk factors on chronic, noncommunicable diseases.
  • Health 2000–2011 surveys collected data on the health, functional capacity and welfare of Finns.
  • National FinHealth Study collects up-to-date information on the health and well-being of adults residing in Finland, and on the factors influencing their health and well-being.
  • School Health Promotion Study monitors the well-being, health and school work of Finnish children and adolescents.

List of research and development projects in THL

Contact information

Photo: Research Programme Director Hanna Tolonen.

Hanna Tolonen | Expertise
Research Programme Director 
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
tel. +358 29 524 8638
[email protected]