Firstbeat Year-end Reflections

Joni Kettunen

Joni KettunenCEO and co-founder, Firstbeat

On the last days of the year and before getting oriented to the next one, it is a privilege to look back at the past 12 months and summarize what we have achieved. The year of 2013 has been a year of tremendous progress to Firstbeat and its partners.

  • Employee health – We now partner with 200+ service providers that deliver lifestyle coaching, in 8 countries
  • Elite sports – more teams and athletes than ever are benefiting from Firstbeat to compete on the highest level
  • Consumer products – Garmin, Samsung, and Bosch introduced exciting new Firstbeat inside products to the fitness market

During the past year, together with our partner networks, we have developed corporate wellness initiatives in Europe, USA and Australia. There are literally thousands of success stories of helping employees to learn and manage their stress, recovery and exercise. The typical response from employees has been very positive regardless of the industry or country. See for example a recent US based case story on employee experiences.

It has been great to work with a growing number of service providers to integrate Firstbeat into their service offering. We have done a lot of work to improve the scalability of the service and also introduced a new dedicated Bodyguard 2 device for HRV measurement. The number of organizations served is well above thousand. In March 2013 we had our 2nd Firstbeat World seminar in London, with partners from 14 different countries, the farthest coming all the way from Australia! (by the way: in 2014 the seminar will be held in Helsinki!)

In top sports over 300 top teams around the world have leveraged Firstbeat, including e.g. leading football clubs from Italy, Argentina, UK, Portugal, France, Netherlands, USA, Australia and Spain. This year many national teams have been preparing for Rio 2014 using Firstbeat.

During 2013, we have also engaged in many other sports at the very highest level. For example, about one third of NHL teams have been using Firstbeat daily to manage the balance between training load and recovery. Other sports include basketball, rugby, cycling, skiing, rowing, triathlon, athletics, golf, sailing, and F1 racing, to name a few. One of the biggest successes in the past year was Tour de France.

In 2013, next generation Firstbeat analytics were deployed to a whole new range of consumer devices. Several Firstbeat inside consumer products were introduced to the market, including Garmin Forerunner 620, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and S4 (after 4.3 update), and Bosch e-Bike. Each one of these products bring a new generation of easy-to-use Firstbeat heart beat analytics to the fitness consumers.

Garmin FR620 is definitely one of the smartest heart rate monitors so far. Firstbeat analytics measure your accurate VO2max (aerobic fitness level) for each running workout, making fitness information available all the time, without any extra effort (other than doing the exercise, of course!). The device also measures your readiness to exercise at the beginning of the workout, alongside with intelligent calories calculation, automated fitness calibration and training effect.

Samsung Note 3 and S4 are the first smartphones that come pre-installed with Firstbeat analytics (S4 after Android 4.3 update). The exercise mate application in the S Health suite connects with ANT+ and BLE heart rate belts, allowing users a smooth access to Firstbeat analytics and smart exercise guidance. The app includes latest generation of intelligent technology from Firstbeat and will guide you towards efficient fitness training.

Bosch e-Bike introduces a completely new era for Firstbeat technology. In e-Bike, Firstbeat analytics is used to assess and control a cyclist’s physiological effort level, in comparison to the electric power. Cannot wait to see these on the streets!

Common underlying factor to Firstbeat’s key role in the market is clear. We combine our expertise on physiology and technology to digitize body responses, through the window that heart rate variability (HRV) provides us. The processed information links our physiology to behaviors and actions that lead to better wellbeing and performance. It’s all about unlocking knowledge from ourselves and use it for our benefit!

I would like to thank all our partners, customers and devoted staff for the past year. Our staff has now grown to 30, we have a number of new partners around the world, and millions of new Firstbeat users. Let’s keep up the good work and reach for even higher levels of impact next year!

Joni Kettunen

Joni Kettunen CEO and co-founder, Firstbeat

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.

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