15 Years of Firstbeat – What Have We Learned?

We now have 15 years of experience, developing innovative, physiology-based solutions for performance and well-being. Back when we started, in 2002, we knew that we were onto something big. Little by little, year after year, we have built and sharpened the analytic tools needed to untangle and decode the secrets embedded in our personal heart rhythms.

I’m so proud of our growing team, which is as passionate as ever about our mission: to provide meaningful physiological insights to help everyone to be the best version of themselves. We believe we have created something lasting, and the need for solutions to enhance health and performance is greater than ever!

Our journey has been, and still is, a continuous learning process.

It all started in a magical moment of realization, seeing how we could use heart rate variability to open a window into our physiology. It hasn’t always been easy, particularly in the beginning. Thinking back to the sensors we were working with in the early days, they were crappy at best, and capable of recording only few hours the heartbeat data at a time. And even then, with such a low success rates that they would not be even close to passing the bar today. Although, one should never take sensor performance for granted, today’s world is very different in terms of sensor availability, ranging from high-accuracy ECG to optical sensors suitable for everyday use.

We have seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t, each success and setback contributing to our store of knowhow and expertise. Our pioneering spirit and passion for innovation have been instrumental in our ability to enhance the meaningfulness of information for people while ensuring physiological validity.

We have taken data previously only available in laboratory settings and placed it within in the realm of everyday life, where they can serve a broader, more beneficial purpose. It is through accurate physiologically derived insights that individuals gain the power to make precise, targeted changes to their lives. The very purpose of wearables is to deliver personalized feedback, and this can only be achieved through understanding of the user’s own unique physiology.

As part of this journey, we have analyzed millions of hearts, through the embedding of our analytics engine into consumer wearables produced by our many partners. We are grateful to work with outstanding partners, who share our way of thinking and are eager to tackle tough challenges in similar ways.

We have also conquered the most prestigious sports arenas, as over 22,000 top athletes across more than 800 teams worldwide rely on Firstbeat to optimize training and recovery. We have reports showing that we can help to decrease injury rates by up to 30%.

In the work arena, our technology has helped over 250,000 employees manage their stress and to become more energetic and focused at work. We have repeatedly demonstrated that smarter lifestyle decisions can yield significant returns for employee, employer and insurers. The future of preventative healthcare is a promising one, as information from our DNA, diet, fitness and other lifestyle factors is increasingly combined and utilized to individualize feedback and prescription.

We started Firstbeat as a technology company, but today I feel we are more of a human company. Our role is to make biological information visible and to help people to live better lives. It is inspiring to see people becoming interested in their health, armed with the personalized insights necessary to achieve their dream of a healthier life. Each one of us can learn from our own physiology for a more balanced future.

We continue our growth with the same scientific spirit as when we started. We have a world-class team, willing to learn and create solutions to make the world a healthier, happier and more productive place.

All this requires the famous sisu, a special word we Finns use to describe the embodiment of decisiveness, determination and tenacity.

One heartbeat at a time.

 

Joni Kettunen, PhD
CEO and co-founder of Firstbeat