Our Team

We employ 50+ specialists in physiology, analytics, sports technologies and well-being

Firstbeat Team

Joni Kettunen, Ph.D., CEO, Co-Founder

Mr. Joni Kettunen, PhD, is a pioneer in physiological analytics and its applications. He is leading Firstbeat at the cutting edge of heartbeat analytics for wearables, fitness devices, wellbeing services and professional sports. As of today, Firstbeat analytics is used by hundreds of elite sports teams, thousands of corporations, and millions of consumers to improve their performance and wellbeing. Before founding Firstbeat in 2002, Joni has done and published research in the areas of psychophysiology, behavioral medicine, autonomic nervous system function and stress quantification. Joni received his PhD from the Department of Psychology at the University of Helsinki in 1999.

Aki Pulkkinen, M.Sc., Consumer Technologies, Exercise Physiologist

Mr. Pulkkinen is leading our consumer technologies business. He has extensive experience in consumer products, physiological design and sports and fitness contents. Mr. Pulkkinen has a University degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Jyväskylä and he is one of the founding members of Firstbeat.

Veli-Pekka Kurunmäki, B.Sc., Sports Performance Products, Exercise Physiologist

Mr. Kurunmäki is in charge of our work in the competitive sports arena with the world’s leading teams and athletes. He has studied exercise physiology at the University of Jyväskylä and has personal experience in both coaching and competitive sports. Mr. Kurunmäki has several years of experience in the application of heart rate variability based tools in competitive sports.

Juho Tuppurainen, M.Sc., Business Director, Corporate Wellness

Mr. Tuppurainen develops our corporate wellness and occupational health care business. Through this work, Mr. Tuppurainen has gained significant understanding in the commercial application of physiological measurement based services in the corporate world. He has a Master’s degree in business management.

Tiina Hoffman, M.Sc., Exercise Physiologist

Mrs. Hoffman is involved in training our international customers for well-being and performance services. She has a B.Sc. degree from the University of Alaska and an M.Sc. degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Jyväskylä. She is a former cross-country skiing coach at the University of Alaska and has also worked in academic research in heart rate variability field studies. Mrs. Hoffman has gained significant experience in the principles of delivering quality heartbeat measurement based services in the corporate wellness sector.

Tero Myllymäki, M.Sc., Physiology Research

Mr. Myllymäki is responsible for physiological analytics development and research collaboration at Firstbeat. He has academic background and has previously been working as a researcher in multidisciplinary expert teams combining physiology, psychology, and technology. His goal is to seek innovative solutions for providing meaningful and actionable feedback on wellbeing, lifestyle, and performance in everyday life. Mr. Myllymäki has a Master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Jyväskylä.

Sami Saalasti, Ph.D., CTO

Mr. Saalasti is responsible for the mathematical modeling and technical development of our algorithms for different platforms. He has extensive background and experience in the development of heartbeat analysis technology. Mr. Saalasti received his Ph.D. in 2003 on the application of novel algorithms into heartbeat measurement and modeling of body functions.

Aku Kalajo, M.Sc., Director, R&D

Mr. Kalajo leads software development at Firstbeat. The basic principle behind R&D is to provide answers to the specialized needs that our sports and corporate customers have in quantifying performance and well-being through physiological measurements. Before joining Firstbeat, Mr. Kalajo worked in several expert and management positions in ICT companies. He has a Master’s degree in software production management.

Heikki Rusko, Ph.D., Professor, Exercise Physiology, FACSM

Professor Rusko is well-known especially for his research on autonomic nervous system function, and athlete performance and overtraining indicators. and recovery and more generally for his applied physiological research. He was the founding director of the Research Institute for Olympic Sports in Finland and a Professor in Sports Technology and Exercise Physiology at the University of Jyväskylä. He is also a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition, he has been invited to write a training book for the International Olympic Committee and was also a member of the Finnish Olympic Committee. Professor Rusko is one of the founding members of Firstbeat.