HRV Summit 2018 Confirmed Speakers

Firstbeat HRV Summit features professional speakers across many fields of health and technology. Our speakers will present and share their insights from various topics, from training load to good sleep.

Keynote Speakers

Ray Maker

Ray “DC Rainmaker” Maker

Ray Maker is behind – which focuses on endurance sports technology and training and was ranked as one of the 50 Most Influential people in running by Runner’s World magazine. The site produces the most in depth reviews and analysis of sports technology products out on the web today, gathering more than 3 million views a month. Originally from Seattle, USA, Ray is now living in Paris, France, sharing his stories to all fitness, sports and technology enthusiasts around the globe.

Dr. Jonathan Myers

Health Research Scientist, VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Dr. Myers is a Health Research Scientist at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, where he directs the Exercise Research Laboratory. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, and a Research Career Scientist Award recipient through the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development (VA RR&D) Program. His 30 year body of research has focused on clinical applications of exercise testing and training in patients with chronic heart failure, physical activity and cardiovascular health, and the epidemiology of exercise test responses and physical activity patterns. He is presently a principal investigator on projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the VA RR&D.

James Stables

Executive Editor, Wareable

James is the co-founder of Wareable, the biggest website dedicated to wearable tech and sports devices. Wareable is dedicated to helping people achieve more through wearable sensors, and helps people apply the data to their sport. James is a half marathon runner and reluctant trainer, so any tech that helps get the job done is more than welcome.

Joni Kettunen, PhD

CEO & 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. 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.

Sue Henry

Director, MSH Partnership

Sue Henry is a highly experience transformational change consultant. She has over 30 years’ experience working at the most senior level in NHS management and public health both nationally and locally. Sue is the founder of MSH Partnership UK, an organization specializing in improving health, well-being and performance of individuals, communities and workplaces. Sue was previously National Director for NHS Sport and Physical Activity Challenge, a national workplace well-being programme she developed in response to Boorman review and to maximize the inspirational power of London 2012. To date, more than 500,000 NHS staff have participated.

Tom Allen

Lead Sports Scientist, Arsenal FC

Tom Allen is the lead sports scientist at Arsenal FC. He moved to the club in July 2017 having previously spent 6 years at Aston Villa FC. His role involves monitoring and practically applying data into on-field conditioning for the first team squad. He holds a BSc and MSc in Sports and Exercise Science having focused on the relationship between training load management and injuries in professional football players.

Justin Haroun & Kate Fismer

University of Westminster, Centre for Resilience

Kate Fismer and Justin Haroun are both Senior Consultants and trainers at the Centre for Resilience: University of Westminster.  They have designed and delivered Resilience and Wellbeing solutions for organisations in the NHS, education, public and private sectors.  As qualified health professionals, educators and coaches, their work integrates the science and the social, helping individuals, teams and organisations bridge the theory practice gap.  They are both passionate about re-humanising the workplace and empowering people to lead more sustainable lives though their everyday practices.

Markus Kemetter

Product Line Manager, Suunto

Markus is coordinating development of high end multisport watches and value creation for Suunto consumers. Markus has been with Suunto for more than 17 years and coming from R&D has been involved in most of the sports and outdoor watch development projects along the way. For five years Markus has been leading the conceptual development of new multisport watches, including Ambit family and Spartan watches. Markus is also an avid triathlete with 21 ironman finishes including 4 Kona finishes behind him.

Ilkka Korhonen, PhD

VP of Technologies, Firstbeat

Dr. Ilkka Korhonen has 25+ years of experience in health technology, wearable physiological monitoring, algorithms and sensing technology, related scientific research, and product and business development. His vision is to bring health technologies for consumers and patients into their everyday life, making consumer the primary user of the health technology and health information. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Personal Health Informatics at Tampere University of Technology. Earlier, he held various research positions as a professor or principal scientist, as well as having been a co-founder and CTO of an optical heart rate pioneering company, PulseOn. He has more than 200 scientific publications, several patents, and has given invited lectures in numerous scientific and business forums.

Tero Myllymäki

Physiology Research, Firstbeat

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.

Professor Owen Epstein

Professor of Gastroenterology, Royal Free Hospital London NHS Trust

A leader in his field, Professor Owen Epstein has worked at the Royal Free Hospital since 1986 and, in 2006, was awarded the chair in gastroenterology. Through his work, Professor Epstein is leading the transformation of the patient experience through the use of the latest innovative technology, including HRV monitoring. He is the author of over 190 peer reviewed academic publications, is the senior author of the textbook “Clinical Examination” and was the founder, and major contributor to the “Map of Medicine” which is a major online NHS resource available to UK healthcare professionals.

Jarkko Hyytiä

Conditioning and Goaltending Coach, Finnish Ice-hockey League JYP

Jarkko Hyytiä has made a long and successful career in the organization of JYP – one of the Finland’s most successful ice hockey teams. Since 2011 Mr. Hyytiä has worked as a goaltending coach in the Finnish Elite League. And since 2013 he has also taken care of the strength and conditioning coaching of the elite ice hockey players of JYP. During these years JYP has won the Finnish Championship, the European Trophy and the Champions Hockey League. Mr. Hyytiä is a Master of Sport Sciences from the University of Jyväskylä.

Panelists & Moderators

Martin Spohrer

Athletics Coach, Eintracht Frankfurt

With a M.A. in sports science from the University of Heidelberg, Martin Spohrer made his way through several German Bundesliga clubs. Starting as strength and conditioning coach for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in 2008, he later was in charge of the youth roosters and the second team of Borussia Mönchengladbach and later of the second team of Borussia Dortmund for three seasons, where he coached several talents, who made the jump into the pro team. In his current position at Eintracht Frankfurt, he takes care of training and game monitoring with a focus on strength and training load. At the moment, Frankfurt is playing the best season in more than 20 years.

Colin Thomas

Clinical Lead Physiologist, BMI Healthcare

Colin is the Clinical Lead Physiologist at BMI Healthcare. He is a Sports Scientist, UKA Running Coach and Personal Trainer tutor/assessor working with athletes around the world. Colin is currently responsible for implementation of new products into the BMI corporate market, such as Firstbeat and Cardiac Rehab. Colin is a regular speaker at conferences in the UK and his articles are regularly published in health and sporting press. As a keen running enthusiast, Colin is always looking to trial new ways of pushing the limits of human performance.

Ole Petersen

Business Economist, Trainer, Speaker, Medbase

Ole Petersen studied economics at the University of Düsseldorf. Until the age of 30 he was a strong smoker, overweight and had several burnout-periods. Under these circumstances he changed his lifestyle and began running, lost weight and finished until 1999 over 40 IRONMAN competitions alongside work and family. He made his business career in building up several distribution companies over Europe in the investment goods industry and finally led a Swiss company with 130 employees as CEO.


Simon Shepard

CEO, Optima-Life

For the past 25 years Simon Shepard has worked in the sporting, corporate and health sectors. The combination of environments and experiences has produced a fresh and multi-dimensional approach that brings together technology, education and motivation, to help organizations develop Key Human Performance Indicators (KHPIs). He consults and delivers to the public sector, international businesses, sporting organizations.

Duncan Young

Head of Health & Wellbeing, Lendlease

Duncan Young is the Head of Health and Wellbeing at leading international property and infrastructure group Lendlease, which has operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Duncan is a passionate advocate for the positive impact that workplaces can have on health and is a leading speaker in this area, focusing on elements of workplace well-being that help individuals thrive, not just at work, but in life. According to Duncan, health is a journey in which small steps can lead to larger incremental change.

Tiina Hoffman

Exercise Physiologist, Firstbeat

Ms. 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. Ms. Hoffman has gained significant experience in the principles of delivering quality heartbeat measurement based services in the corporate wellness sector.

Tim Wright

Commercial Director, Firstbeat UK

Mr. Wright has a background of over 20+ years in developing strategic health and wellbeing services for corporate customers. He strives to change the healthcare landscape, creating a more balanced profile between reactive and preventative healthcare. He is passionate about integrated cognitive, physical, emotional and social assessments combining them with cutting edge technology. Tim Wright has worked as a Firstbeat partner for nine years.

Dr. Erica Thieman

Assistant Professor, Agricultural Science Education, University of Illinois

Dr. Erica Thieman is a social justice-oriented teacher educator and education researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who focuses on the context and impact of resilience and stress in high stress professions. She is also the co-founder of Prime Performance and Recovery where she works with her partner who is a psychologist, Renee Mapes, to provide lifestyle coaching for groups and individuals to improve professional and/or athletic performance and personal life satisfaction. Dr. Thieman has worked with a wide range of groups and individuals from law enforcement and veterinary technicians to youth sport coaches and educators.

Aki Pulkkinen

Director, Consumer Technologies, Exercise Physiologist, Co-Founder, Firstbeat

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.

Gergely Vada

Founder & CEO, Fusion Vital

Gergely has 8 years of experience on the field of HRV-analysis-based consultancy. He founded Fusion Vital Hungary, as the pioneer of Quantified Self consultancy companies in CEE region. Fusion Vital has already been delivered thousands of days analysed for corporates, public sector, competitive athletes, military and residential clients. In the same time, as an honored assistant professor, he is personally involved into several R&D projects using HRV-data in preventive healthcare, human workload & performance analysis and psychology. His economical, research, coaching and leadership background represents an integrative approach of healthy performance. Gergely is co-founder of Hungarian Sleep Association, and as an experienced speaker and evangelist, for CSR reasons he is also committed to health education for schoolchildren.


Jonathan Bloomfield

Director, Support2Perform

Jonathan Bloomfield is the director of Support2Perform, a consultancy business based in Northern Ireland which serves to enhance employee wellbeing, engagement and productivity. This has included work within Healthcare, Transport, Construction, Fire and Policing sectors across the UK. Jonathan’s background includes working with high performance athletes for over 15 years, managing physical loads and optimising recovery in International Football and Rugby Union teams, European Tour golfers and Olympic athletes. He has worked with Firstbeat since 2009.

Carlyle Jenkins

Functional Health Specialist, Prohab Performance

Founder and director of Prohab Performance London’s top functional health consultancy.  His signature individual programme the Ultimate Wellness Journey (UWJ) reverses chronic disease and transforms lives by strategically delivering lifestyle adjustments based on state-of-the-art evidence based investigations. The corporate UWJ programme achieved industry recognition as a finalist in the inaugural 2018 Wellbeing Awards for innovation and physical wellbeing.

Ian MacKenzie

Head of Pension & Benefits, BNP Paribas

Ian is Head of Pension, Benefits and Wellbeing at BNP Paribas.  In that role, Ian has championed Wellbeing, overseeing innovative changes to private medical, health screening and other benefits to make the benefits better individually, but also better joined up.  By improving the usefulness of the benefits and how they are communicated, usage has increased and staff feedback is excellent.  This has been recognised by a number of industry awards.