“Big data usage in health care is not cost-effective”, claims Timo Kettunen, CEO of Diske, in the beginning of his pitch at Upgraded Life Festival. “Less than 0,5 % of all data is analyzed and used.”

Diske is one of the startups chasing a solution for this: combining the enormous amount of data from different sources to one easy-to-use health product. It seems that there are many players now trying to enter this market. Some are targeting private customers, some are into B-to-B with customers like hospitals, employers or insurance companies.

This is where – and why – OP steps in. It’s one of the big insurance companies in Finland but also evolving into a multi-branch services company. All innovative solutions that can improve the lives of almost 5 million OP customers are interesting, then.

Trying to develop something brilliantly new with own people only would not make sense. This is where – and why – startups step in. OP organized Smart Health Partnership Program to gather the best ideas and teams for working towards new solutions in healthcare and health in general.

The possible end user can be OP itself – as an insurance company or OPs own hospitals. Other possibilities for end users are OPs customers getting services for healthier life. Naturally, the smartest solutions are the ones that benefit both OP and its customers.

Top 11 candidates for Smart Health Challenge

For getting in touch with health startups OP partnered with Vertical, leading health accelerator in the Nordics. The results were huge. In three weeks they got 217 applications from 41 countries to take part in OP Smart Health Partnership Program. The quality was high with lots of mature and very well funded startups in the top 20 that got interviewed. Tough decisions had to be made to get the best of best, Top 11 in this case.

Buddy Healthcare offers a mobile app based surgery preparation and recovery service.

Cardiolyse monitors heart and wellness from several sources to prevent heart diseases.

Chino offers application developers and enterprises a platform to help them to store and share health sensitive data securely.

Elth.ai has virtual assistants for both patients and medical doctors. Using AI and machine learning they can do assisting work in healthcare efficiently.

Etsimo brings health services to people’s pockets by having health data and access to doctors in the same application.

Huoleti helps and supports people living with severe illnesses by having peer support and easy contact to medical services.

OpenTeleHealth develops remote patient monitoring with doctor and nurse consulting.

Umanlife is a digital wellness and health assistant. It that can be customized for companies to enhance their personnel’s health.

Wefitter does the latter specifically: engages employees for better health.

Wellmo has a mobile platform for health that can be customized for customer’s purposes.

WeSavvy offers insurance companies tool for measuring the lifestyles of their clients who benefit from healthier living in return.


In addition to these 11, one more startup was planned to get to participate the program through pitching competition that was held 26th April at Upgraded Life Festival in Helsinki.

This exceeded expectations as well. During the tiny four-day application period 27 applications for the pitching competition were received. 7 of them were chosen to pitch. These startups were all quite promising. They pitched for crowd 100-ish people and a four-member jury.

“Making a decision was really hard”, says Development Manager Anton Danielsen, jury member from OP. “So we changed the rules and chose two, Diske and Lääkärihinta.”

Diske develops a ‘health combinator’ that visualizes health data from extremely various sources to guide for better health.

Lääkärihinta has already created some disruption in Finnish medical services market. Like ‘Trivago for healthcare’ it is for finding, comparing, booking and reviewing of doctors and dentists.

With these two really eager startups added the group heading forward to Innovation Challenge is now 13 teams.

What is Smart Health Partnership Program?

Smart Health Partnership Program follows a rather similar Smart Mobility Partnership Program that OP started three months earlier. Detailed feedback has been gathered from there. It has helped to improve even more the tools and information the participating startups will get – both during a week of Innovation Challenge and further in co-creation period.

“For non-Finnish teams, OP is not very familiar”, Miia Paavola from OP Digital Services points out. “We will focus on providing all the information needed – starting from the basics.”

Next stage in the program is Innovation Challenge in 8th – 11th May. It is an intensive period in Helsinki with all the 13 startups gathering for speed dating with mentors, lots of teamwork and some leisure fun as well.

“During the Innovation Challenge we go and test the startups”, Paavola explains. “What are the teams like? What kind of a solution is up to? How does that fit for OPs values?”

In the end, there’s final pitching and 3-5 best teams will be chosen to continue in the program. Then a four-month co-creation period begins. In a close co-op with OP the startups tweak their products to fit for Finnish market. What will they come up with is impossible to say yet? OP is keen on possibilities.

“We are looking for new starts and original ideas that would genuinely create value for our customers”, Miia Paavola summarizes.