“Paper Safari 2016” – Pulp and Paper Technology Customer Visit to Finland

 

Pulp and Paper Technology Finland organizes customer visit programs in Finland for professionals of different countries. Leading Portuguese paper and pulp mills have been invited to participate in the next event.

“Paper Safari” is a great opportunity to meet with the Finnish suppliers of the industry, visit some

Finnish pulp and paper mills, as well as factories and references of their technology suppliers. The

participants are mainly mill managers, technical managers, production managers, project managers,

and persons related with the technical development of their companies.

The event takes place on March 7-11. There will be some 10 visits to the leading suppliers and local

pulp & paper mills. The target is to get together in Stockholm the day before and take one of the big

passenger ferries to Helsinki. During the dinner onboard the participants can get to know each other

and some of the hosts.

Contact Tapani Lankinen
tel: +34625522675
E-mail: tapani.lankinen@lanexco.com

Kasperi rethinks urban mobility through design

Kasperi

 “Made in Finland” is a big part of Kasperi’s identity”. KASPERI

A defining feature of these leather bags is influencing the fashion of business: they are 100 per cent made in Finland.
The lion’s share of companies specialising in clothes and accessories in Finland eventually move their production abroad when they internacionalize. For many, the local costs are too big an obstacle to overcome.
Not so for leather bag makers Kasperi. “Made in Finland” is a big part of their identity.
By utilising local raw materials and production, the Kasperi crew is keeping a close eye on maintaining a high standard of quality. This in turn encourages customers to form a long relationship with their bags.
“Consumption cycles are getting very short, especially in fashion and consumer electronics,” states Michael Tervanen from Kasperi’s office-cum-storeroom in the hip Helsinki suburb of Kallio. “But, if we give a consumer a product that they really like and they notice that it is only getting more personal and better with time, we can communicate the value of investing in more lasting stuff.”

Broad mobility

“CiKasperi 2ties such as Berlin and Munich are just the beginning, with the company setting its sights on the biking cities of Copenhagen and Amsterdam, as well as London and Paris, where peddle power is growing in popularity”.
Kasperi
At present there are around 16 different Kasperi models, ranging from shoulder bags to offerings that comfortably accommodate a laptop. This is in contrast to the situation that founder and photographer Janne Kasperi Suhonen was faced with back in 2011, when he sought to carry his camera equipment as he cycled between shoots.
Finding nothing suitably versatile and durable on the market, Suhonen began designing something from scratch that would suit his needs. Eventually the finished product was suitably large and adjustable, with an all-important stabilising strap that kept it from inconveniently swaying about as he cycled.
Fast-forward to May 2015 and Suhonen’s hobby had grown into a business. Taking his middle name as its moniker, Kasperi’s initial focus has been on bike bags, yet the door remains open to expanding their range.
“We want to rethink urban mobility,” Tervanen explains. “We want to keep it broad, so it can direct us in whatever we do.”

Travel bags

Attracting a broad range of customers, Kasperi’s wholly Finnish approach is already carving out a competitive advantage abroad.
“We thought Germany would appreciate the functional point of view of our bag,” Tervanen recalls. “It turns out they are really excited that everything comes from the Nordics; it’s made here. That’s something unique. Germans can do functional, that’s an oversold concept there.”
Cities such as Berlin and Munich are just the beginning, with the company setting its sights on the biking cities of Copenhagen and Amsterdam, as well as London and Paris, where peddle power is growing in popularity. Looking further afield, Seoul and Tokyo are also on the radar.
Regardless of where Kasperi travels with its bags, the one thing that Tervanen emphasises is that the company is doing everything it can to keep production in Finland. This includes encouraging younger generations attending local schools to make use of its production facilities to help spur their interest in leathercraft.
Alongside making direct sales, Kasperi is also teaming up with fellow small businesses, as part of a push to build a community based around the idea of urban mobility.
“If everyone could think about not selling through big wholesalers, but instead from partnerships with others and form their own shops or local places, they could get better value for their work,” he explains.

Text: James O’Sullivan
kasperi.net
Good News From Finland

Soil Scout digs deep for water efficiency

Soil Scout

Soil Scout has developed technology that wirelessly transmits environmental data from deep below ground.

Soil Scout

The Internet of Things is heading underground, thanks to this three-pronged innovation.

And now some good news for the Finnish golfers who are currently twiddling their thumbs impatiently during the cold and dark off-season: soon you won’t have to wait until the snow has melted outside before teeing off.

Thanks to Soil Scout, the season can be brought forward a fraction sooner.

“We have developed technology that enables us to wirelessly transmit environmental data from deep below ground,” explains the company’s CEO Jonathan Skelly.

Thus, once Soil Scout’s sensor platform indicates that the earth underground has thawed, any remaining snow atop can be swiftly cleared away from the greens and fairways.

Two decades of data

 “Golf is using 9.5 billionSoil Scout CEO Jonathan Skelly litres of water a day globally.That’s the daily fresh water requirements of 4.5 billion people. Up to 50 per cent of that is being wasted because there’s no convenient and permanent monitoring solution,” says Soil Scout’s CEO Jonathan Skelly.

Soil Scout’s small, three-pronged “Scout” accurately reports levels of moisture, temperature and salinity in real-time, from as deep as four metres below the surface. Doing away with the need for inconvenient solutions that sit on top of the soil, once buried, the Scout operates for up to 20 years maintenance-free.

The roots of the sensor platform can be traced back to company CTO Johannes Tiusanen’s PhD studies as a soil scientist. A 19th generation farmer, Tiusanen fine-tuned the concept’s capabilities over 12 years of R&D after he first came up with the idea.

Once he was finally satisfied, Soil Scout was formed in May 2013 in order to commercialise the technology. Addressing the B2B market, the company’s obvious first port of call was the two trillion-euro agriculture industry. However, it quickly became clear that the technology had also piqued the interest of other big players.

“Golf is using 9.5 billion litres of water a day globally,” Skelly states. “That’s the daily fresh water requirements of 4.5 billion people. Up to 50 per cent of that is being wasted because there’s no convenient and permanent monitoring solution.”

With around 40 000 golf courses being managed worldwide, Soil Scout quickly broadened its focus.

Increasing need

Business has been developing quickly. Alongside its Finnish rollout, Soil Scout is in the process of entering the UK market, and commercial trials have recently been given the green light in the USA, South Africa, Australia and Brazil.

“What we have developed here is effectively a platform for belowground IoT,” Skelly explains. “No one has been able to transmit below the ground deeper than a few centimetres.”

The likes of soil, clay, concrete, snow and ice represent no obstacle for Soil Scout.

“From that point of view we are chatting to some customers, and happy to talk to others, about licensing into fields we haven’t even thought of,” Skelly states.

The growing interest in the technology is unsurprising: statistics indicate there will be plenty of need for Soil Scout’s device in future.

“Between now and 2050, the world is going to need a 300 per cent increase in the amount of water to service the needs of the next two billion in population,” Skelly outlines. “What motivates us is the excitement to make a tangible change.”

Text: James O’Sullivan
soilscout.com
Good News From Finland

Genano purifies air in Poland and Saudi Arabia

Finnish company Genano’s air decontamination units have been sold to multiple hospitals in Poland and Saudi Arabia.

Several hospitals in Poland have purchased in total over 150 air decontamination units from Genano. The order is worth 600 000 euros.

Earlier in 2015, Genano’s air decontamination solutions were delivered to multiple hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Most of the units are used in isolation rooms to help combat the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus. Genano equipment is now recommended for use by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health.

In November, Genano joined Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka on a trip to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to present Finnish expertise in healthcare, education and cleantech to representatives of state institutions and companies. According to Genano CEO Jaakko Salminen, exports already form a third of the company’s revenue.

The patented technology used in Genano units is based on a powerful electric field. Particles and impurities are gathered on a surface inside the unit, and washed away automatically once a week. All Genano air purifiers are designed and manufactured in Finland.

www.genano.com
Good News from Finland

Lisboa Design Show takes over printed flexible electronics September 30th, 2015

The development of printed electronics and intelligence has evolved rapidly in recent years. More and more smart products can be created with the help of printing machines and intelligent inks. Finished products can vary from printed lights, solar cells, antennas, batteries or even disposable medical tests just to mention a few.

Printed intelligence technologies offer endless possibilities for designing novel product innovations, and offer a highly appealing treasure chest of tools for new “smart products” design – both in terms of functionality as well as the aesthetics. Printing as a manufacturing process is highly cost efficient, and thereby these products can also be competitively manufactured in Europe.

Printed electronics is an emerging field of technology, which is eagerly looking for more design creativity and innovations. To facilitate this, the PrintoCent community launches the second international Design Competition around printed intelligence at the Lisboa Design Show 2015 (http://lisboadesignshow.fil.pt/ ). The competition is open for students, industrial designers and architects. The contestants need to design solutions for autonomous lighting systems for industrial and farming settings, natural disaster areas plus for domestic gardens. The competition takes place in three phases: 1) ideation time one month, 2) selection of top design candidates 5, 3) sparring the finalists & production of prototypes. The winners will be announced at the Polar Bear Pitching event in Feb 11th, 2016.

PrintoCent is a world-class printed intelligence community of companies and research institutions avidly looking into these technologies. The community was founded in Oulu, Finland with the support of national and EU public funding. Currently, the community has 44 members from Europe, Japan and USA. The Portuguese member companies WeProductise (Ponte de Lima) and Ynvisible (Caparica) bring strong design and product innovation input to the community.

The PrintoCent community has a booth at Lisboa Design Show 2015 [booth number 42] and is presenting these fascinating technologies. There will also be a related workshop at the show “Design de produto com electrónica flexível” on Friday 9.10. at 17:00-18:00.

Printed intelligence is technologically based in part on novel nanotechnologies. Portugal and Finland have had collaboration in nanotechnology field since 2012.
PrintoCent Design Competition history

In October 2014, the 1st PrintoCent design competition called on open-minded designers and engineers to be bold and inventive think differently and challenge themselves with printed intelligence. In all, there were about 20 entries and novel ideas to design a future lamp or lighting concept. The jury awarded the finalists in the following order:

The Grand Winner – Koistinen Oskari
 with Tykky
The Best Business Potential – Saccardi Samuel
 with Eclipse
The Wildest Idea – Koivuaho Anniina
 with Aava
Honorary mention – Saavalainen Juho with 
Adjustable table light
Honorary mention – Laitinen Joona
 with Fabian

The jury was genuinely surprised by the high quality of the design work as well as the technical maturity in numerous occasions. Besides showing wonderful creativity with the design brief, the TOP5 had also incorporated the idea of different use case possibilities and the need to come up with solutions that are both scalable and suitable for international markets.

The Grand winner , Mr. Oskari Koistinen, was awarded 2000 euros for his design Tykky. Besides being a beautifully designed lighting fixture, Tykky’s form function and production readiness resulted in an outstanding design piece. Besides being easy to set up, the design was seen as a logistically ecological solution – as the lamp can be shipped as a flat sheet of film. Most importantly Tykky’s winning feature was the basic idea of using these flexibile LED lighting elements so that by changing the cutting pattern one can create an endless number of differently shaped lamps. Moreover, the actual material can vary from cardboards to plastic or even metal sheets and anything in between, thus enabling a great variety of finalized products.

PrintoCentOskari Kuusinen giving his final presentation on Tykky

For more information, please contact.
Mr. Ilkka Kaisto
Director, PrintoCent
illka.kaisto@vtt.fi
+358 401 494 006

Lisboa Design Show
http://lisboadesignshow.fil.pt/

 

Tax-free Portugal attracts Finnish pensioners

© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
09 Feb 2015

Tax-FreeThe white beaches and tax exemptions offered by Quarteira are among the main factors that attract retirees from other European countries to Portugal.

The waiting staff bring out additional tables as more and more people turn out for a lunch meeting of the Finnish Society in Algarve, southern Portugal.
Raimo Luokomaa, the chairperson of the society and a long-time resident of Portugal, is surprised by the recent popularity of the monthly meetings. “One-third of them are people I don’t know,” he estimates as roughly one hundred retirees sit side-by-side around the tables of a restaurant in the town of Quarteira.
Most members of the nearly 25-year-old Finnish Society in Algarve are retirees living in the temperate coastal region of Portugal. The number of members has increased by more than a couple of hundred over the past year.
In fact, so many have contacted the society by e-mail to enquire about moving to and living in the south-westernmost country of Europe that the society has been unable to reply to the enquiries in time, reveals Maija Katila, the executive director at the Finnish Society in Algarve.
“We weren’t prepared for such a sudden flood of e-mails. The enquiries began to increase last autumn and still continue to do so,” she tells. Katila is responsible for organising activities and managing the contact network of the society.
Known for its sunshine, long beaches and low cost of living, Portugal has attracted elderly people from European countries with higher rainfall and cooler weather for decades. Recently, however, retirees have been drawn to the country also by the possibility of enjoying their pensions tax free.
Portugal has sought to attract new residents by granting retirees who move to the country permanently a ten-year exemption from taxes on their pension income under certain conditions.
The country has vested its faith in the purchasing power of retirees as it seeks to patch up its fiscal deficit and cope with the lingering debt crisis. The retirees are expected to buy cars and real estate as well as boost the cash flows of local shops and restaurants to the extent that they will benefit the local economy despite their tax-free status.
“I’ve received tens if not hundreds of phone calls not only from Finland but also from Finns living in Morocco, Turkey and Spain. We’ve also had to provide services to holiday-makers who’re considering retiring here for tax reasons,” lists Luokomaa.
The Finnish Society in Algarve refuses to officially comment on the tax exemption scheme.
Several retirees who have moved to Portugal recently have showed up for the lunch meeting. They are in high spirits: speeches are made, songs are sung and toasts are made.
Luokomaa assures the newer members of the Finnish community that they will make new friends soon and that no one will be left alone.
Finns began to migrate to the resorts of Portimão and Quarteira in Algarve in the 1980s as a result of the winter package tours offered by Finnmatkat, says Katila. “Despite the current high number of enquiries, only few are eventually able to move here,” she reminds.
The chatter from the tables picks up as the waiting staff bring out the dessert puddings and as people who have moved to the region recently try to get to know those who are already familiar with it. Few, however, dare to discuss their decision to emigrate from Finland in public.
“Definitely not. We’ve got so many jealous neighbors in Finland,” says one woman.
The reluctance of the emigrants stems from the public outrage that emerged in Finland after Maarit Toivanen-Koivisto, a major shareholder in Onvest, announced in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat late last year that she and her family will move to Portugal in order to avoid inheritance tax.
The outrage ultimately heated up to the extent that Antti Rinne (SDP), the Minister of Finance, branded the tax exemption scheme introduced by Portugal as a flaw that must be corrected in an interview with Iltalehti. Finland has consequently launched negotiations with Lisbon over a new bilateral tax agreement.
Timo, one of the retirees in Quarteira who decline to comment on the matter with their full name, estimates that the actions of Rinne are due to the looming parliamentary elections. He points out that Finnish retirees in Portugal have also before been generally exempt from taxes in Finland, but now the “mill of the jealous” is being fueled by reports about the tax scheme.
“How does the fact that a marginal group of senior citizens move here harm Finland? They will in any case pay 1.5 per cent in health care tax to Finland, although they don’t use the roads, streets or health care system,” he argues.
“The Ministry of Finance should focus on the major companies that file their taxes abroad,” he says.

Pilvikki Kause – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Ana Brigida

Finnish sea tech plans big splash in the world’s oceans

With the new Merit project, Finland aims to bring together its maritime and ICT industry expertise to become a frontrunner in smart maritime industry. iStock / LifesizeImages

Finish Sea 1Finland may be known for Nokia, Angry Birds and forests, but where the country wants to tap next leaves the land behind altogether: the smart maritime industry.
There aren’t many ships today that sail without technology and its role in the maritime industry is growing fast. Tightening safety, environmental regulations and rising fuel prices are driving the development of new solutions which improve processes and efficiency.
This is the domain of the ‘smart maritime industry’ and in particular its integration of information communications technology (ICT) which is used for everything from new ways of applying weather data to digitalisation of harbour bureaucracy. Or, in future, even for fully automated vessels controlled from the mainland.
Finland wants to be at the forefront of creating these solutions. Step forward is the country’s new ‘Smart Maritime Technology Cluster’, the Merit Project. The ambition of Merit is to melt the maritime industry, ICT services, the Internet of Things (IoT) and startups together to create a Finnish maritime IT cluster that caters to international shipyards and the offshore industry as well as shipping companies and ports.
“The smart maritime industry is built on two strong Finnish industry sectors: the maritime industry and ICT. Finland is top of the class in both,” says Jussi Nissilä, Senior Analyst at consultants Oxford Research which recently conducted a study on opportunities in the sector.

Discovering top expertise

Finish Sea 2While there is no shortage of Finnish maritime knowhow, the challenge is to bring together very different industries, working cultures and even terminology. The Merit Project, led by Finland’s capital city Helsinki and funded by the Finnish Ministry of Economy and Employment, aims to knock down these barriers by first offering a platform for networking and cooperation.

“Someone told me 17 forms have to be filled in to ensure a container is carried from one harbour to another,” explains Eniram’s CTO Jussi Pyörre as an example on why smart maritime technology is needed. “Even if it isn’t our core competence, we could help [as part of the Merit cluster] to create solutions for these kinds of problems.”
Eniram
The next step is to enhance the international visibility of Finnish maritime expertise, support companies in finding new markets as well as co-develop new products and services for the maritime industry.
“The unique approach here is that we are actively seeking growth and new ideas from the ICT side by bringing together players from two different fields,” explains Nissilä. “It is a competitive market, but there aren’t many countries which have profiled themselves as the frontrunner in the smart maritime industry.”
The potential of doing so is huge: in Finland alone the maritime industry is worth in excess of five billion euros while around 90 percent of world trade is transported by the shipping industry.
Finland is already home to a number of leading companies in the maritime industry, including global giants like Wärtsilä and ABB in engines and propulsion systems. Furthermore many of the world’s biggest cruise ships have been built in shipyards in Western Finland while Aker Arctic, a specialist in arctic seafaring conditions, runs the only privately owned ice model testing facility in the world in Helsinki.
Several smaller companies are making their mark in maritime technology, such as optimisation specialists Napa and Eniram. Now Merit is bringing together their maritime expertise with the ICT sector.

Eniram believes in cooperation

“The great thing about Finland is that we are a small country and can efficiently do these kinds of projects [such as Merit] without it becoming too bureaucratic,” says Jussi Pyörre, Chief Technology Officer at Eniram.
Eniram is not only a member of the Merit project but one of the most successful examples of recent Finnish smart maritime expertise. The company, founded in 2005, specialises in energy management technology and uses data analytics to reduce seafaring costs and environmental impact:
“Our system is installed on 250 vessels all around the world. Last year we helped to save 60 000 tonnes of fuel in these vessels,” Pyörre explains. “That equals to the emissions produced by 40 000 cars in a year. We have 70 employees, so each of them is responsible for removing over 500 cars from the planet when it comes to emissions.”
Eniram estimates there are approximately 60 000 ships globally that could use its technology and this is also where Pyörre sees the main benefits of the Merit project: targeting potential customers and developing new services together.
“What customers need are solutions to their problems, not software. If we can offer a part of the solution, we are more than happy to be included in a package which is offered together with other companies,” Pyörre describes. “In the [Merit] cluster we could together create a complete solution for the customer.”
Furthermore, these ideas could be tested in Finland. Notably Oxford Research foresees a test environment for smart maritime technology which will be up and running in Finland inside the next four years. This could be a test harbour or cargo vessel for trying out future navigation and communications or other ICT and IoT tools in real-life conditions.
Merit’s long term goal is to turn the smart maritime industry into recognisable international brand similar to that of Finland’s mobile gaming industry. Because the biggest splash doesn’t always need to come from an Angry Bird.
The maritime industry reFinish Sea 3presents a huge but fairly traditional market in need of new ways of optimising and improving its processes.
iStock / TERADAT SANTIVIVUT

 

 

 

Good News From Finland

Finnish ‘Gluten-Free’ Beer finds New Markets

 

Mikko Mäkinen stands before a wall of Kukko beer, waiting for the green light to ship to America. Mikko Mäkinen stands before a wall of Kukko beer, waiting for the green light to ship to America.
Finnish gluten-free Kukko (“rooster”) beer is set to be exported to the US after local brewer Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas signed a contract with Good Life Imports, a company that specialises in bringing European products to the American market.

The idea for the partnership first came to Good Life Imports’ Jason Dyer and Mikko Mäkinen when they worked together at Nokia’s R&D centre in San Diego.

“Jason’s a coeliac and he had run into Kukko beers while travelling to Finland,” Mäkinen recalls. “Whenever someone went to Finland we had to bring Kukko beer back to San Diego for him. There are now some gluten-free beers out there but none of them are as good from a taste perspective as Kukko.”

The duo are in the process of finalising US paperwork that will see the first shipment of beer being sent at the end of the year, and available on shelves in Texas and California in early 2016.

Finding the level

One challenge the duo has faced is that while Kukko beer is considered to be gluten-free by European standards, FDA regulations Stateside have taken a low-risk approach in regards to such labelling.

“In Europe you can call a product gluten-free if it’s below 20 parts per million in terms of gluten content,” Mäkinen explains. “It is pretty much same case in Australia and in many parts of the world. In the US, the FDA took a long time deciding what you can call gluten free and what you cannot.”

Thus Kukko beer will be identified as ‘crafted to reduce gluten’ when it is sold in the States. Distinguishing it from similar products on the market, Kukko is devoid of the chemicals typically used to reduce gluten levels during the brewing process, and is made completely from malted barley.

“Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas actually didn’t set out to brew a gluten-free beer, they set out to brew a great-tasting beer,” Mäkinen exclaims. “They found this out from a study that was done by the Finnish Coeliac Association together with Alko [the government-run alcohol retail monopoly in Finland], where they tested gluten-free levels of different beers. In that study they found out that the Kukko beers were very low in gluten content.”

The beer was thus awarded the Finnish Coeliac Society’s seal of approval, a European standard which will be retained when it reaches the States.

In good taste

Mäkinen believes they are entering the US market at a perfect time, with awareness of gluten-free products growing rapidly.

“Roughly one per cent of the population has coeliac disease, and around eight per cent of US households buy gluten-free products, because someone in the household or immediate family has coeliac disease,” he explains. “There are reports of up to 30 per cent of consumers in the US right now who are looking for gluten-free products as it is also a little bit of a health trend.”

Nonetheless, Mäkinen is keen to emphasise Kukko’s flavour first.

“Our intention is not to advertise it as a gluten-free beer, but as a great-tasting beer that happens to be gluten-free.”

www.goodlifeimports.us
www.laitilan.com
Good News from Finland

Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Portuguesa apoia candidaturas aos Vales Internacionalização

CCIP Logo

 

 

 

VALES INTERNACIONALIZAÇÃO

A Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Portuguesa é uma das entidades acreditadas para a prestação de serviços no âmbito dos Vales Internacionalização, o sistema de incentivos do Portugal 2020 que pretende apoiar projectos simplificados de internacionalização de PME.

Neste sentido, apoiamos as empresas na elaboração de candidaturas a este instrumento de financiamento, cuja submissão de candidaturas já está em andamento. Com a experiência acumulada de parceiros especializados em candidaturas, as PME podem encontrar na Câmara de Comércio o parceiro ideal para a realização dos seus projectos.

Contando com o apoio de uma rede privilegiada de contactos e parceiros, destacamos um conjunto de serviços onde poderá utilizar o Vale Internacionalização da sua empresa:
• Elaboração de estudos de caracterização de mercado;
• Business matching;
• Viagens individuais de negócios;
• Missões empresariais.

Contactos

 

Solarch brings digitalisation to self and homecare

iStock.com / Dean Mitchell 
Finnish health tech startup Solarch aims to digitise self and homecare in a user-friendly way. Its online service Activemedi improves communication and health data management between families and professional care providers.
Finnish health tech startup Solarch aims to digitise self and homecare in a user-friendly way. Its online service Activemedi improves communication and health data management between families and professional care providers.

Do you worry about family members living in different places? Finnish health tech startup Solarch may have the answer.

We have all had a doctor ask “are there any health problems in your family?” and not known or remembered the answer. It can be the same when trying to name your last vaccination or explain a relative’s health history to their caregiver.

It is these kinds of experiences from which new online health service Activemedi stems. The service brings health records into the digital age, storing them online and sorting them into easily understandable information. It is a far cry from the outdated approach of stacks of paper stored somewhere in a drawer. Consequently information such as medication, vaccinations and recent treatments are always in your pocket – at least if you have access to the Internet.

You can also set reminders for upcoming appointments and use graphs to follow wellbeing trends as well as create shared health profiles for your whole family.

“We want to empower people to take a more active approach in their own health and the health of their loved ones”, says Alireza Hasanpour, CEO and founder of Solarch, the Helsinki-based startup behind the service. “Self-care and mobility are the future.”

But the health database, called ‘With Me’, is only one part of the Activemedi service. This is also joined by ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency) gadgets and its homecare provider service ‘Care’.

Prepare for the unexpected

Hasanpour strongly believes in the demand for a family-centric approach in online health and gave up a successful career at Nokia to start Solarch in 2012. His ambition is to provide bespoke digital services, both for individuals and their families, on the back of meaningful use of health data.

The new Activemedi online health service consists of three components: a health database for families, ICE gadgets for emergency situations and an online service for homecare providers. (Photo: Jari Härkönen) The new Activemedi online health service consists of three components: a health database for families, ICE gadgets for emergency situations and an online service for homecare providers. (Photo: Jari Härkönen)

This is best illustrated by the company’s ICE emergency gadgets, launched last fall in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Fnland. These products include emergency cards and stickers equipped with QR codes as well as bracelets, keychains and stickers which incorporate NFC (Near Field Communication).Developed in cooperation with emergency and health care professionals, the gadgets provide vital health information when a patient is unable to provide it themselves. All medical professionals need is a smartphone to get a fast access to the patient’s emergency profile and ICE contact details.

”Imagine if my loved one with a heart disease goes out and falls. The ambulance personnel isn’t looking through  80 years of health data, but for crucial information which is potentially life saving, like heart ECG,” explains Hasanpour. ”We want to make that information easily available to the emergency personnel.”

”I would also want to be the first to know if my loved one is in an emergency situation and not learn about it days later. Now [with Activemedi] I receive an SMS alert if something has happened together with the location of the incident,” he continues.

Similarly Solarch’s Care service is aimed at bringing peace of mind to both patients and their next of kin, as well as aiding homecare professionals.

A notable example is homecare workers who can use the online service to manage their daily schedules, report progress with a few clicks and access up-to-date care information such as a change to a customer’s medication. Conversely the service allows a user’s family to communicate with the caregiver and receive real-time information on the visits.

International care

Solarch has had a busy start to the year. The company says that since its launch in late 2014 Activemedi has attracted several thousands of registered online users and sold a few hundreds of emergency gadgets around Finland. It has also secured the first customer for its Care service, homecare services company Stella.

Currently Solarch is working on new features such as integrating data from the Finnish National Archive of Health Information to Activemedi.

However, the next step for Solarch is to speed up internationalisation and it already is preparing for a few pilot projects for other Nordic countries. The service has already been translated into Swedish and English. Furthermore a new door opened for potential partnerships in May when the Nordic Independent Living Challenge (a health tech innovations competition for the elderly and disabled people) chose Activemedi to its second stage. Winners will be announced later in the summer.

To aid its expansion, the company is planning a new funding round to supplement its existing backing from Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) and is actively looking to grow its team of four employees.

”We have investors and partners in Norway and Finland. We are based in Finland, but see the Nordic region as our home market. Next we will turn to the UK, Middle East, and the rest of the world. That is the direction we are heading,” says ambitious Hasanpour.  ”We want to build an online service the health sector doesn’t want to live without…an ecosystem where people and families are at the heart.”

”The service brings particular value to travellers, expats, people who have a loved one with chronic illness. In fact to anyone looking to take an active role in their health and wellbeing,” explains CEO of Solarch Alireza Hasanpour. (Photo: iStock.com / vgajic) ”The service brings particular value to travellers, expats, people who have a loved one with chronic illness. In fact to anyone looking to take an active role in their health and wellbeing,” explains CEO of Solarch Alireza Hasanpour.
(Photo: iStock.com / vgajic)
Text: Eeva Haaramo

www.activemedi.com Good News from Finland