“This is the last summer for me, before I can start working as a substitute Dentist – four years of studies are required for that, and I’ve just finished my third year at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine.”, says Valtteri Lehtinen, who started his internship at Disior this May.
“I wanted to find a summer job that combines technology, innovation and medicine – something that is both relevant to my studies and where I get to use my programming skills and creative thinking to real-life data and problems.”, he says.
Valtteri started his search by contacting the Helsinki Think Company office in Meilahti. Located at the Terkko Health Hub with the Medical Library, and home to a community of Med Tech startups, he ended up speaking with Anna-Maria Henell, Disior CEO, on finding a role like that.
“This was a perfect match. We are working on facial fractures research with the HUS Head and Neck Center. Finding someone who understands that research setup as well as the software, is a perfect person to run the testing on this project.”, Anna-Maria says.
The work also enables Valtteri to combine subjects taught in Dental School to practical use.
“I just finished the semester with an optional course in oral surgery. It has been great to see how the things I learned there, transfer to what we do at Disior.”, Valtteri says. “Analyzing the medical images, and matching what’s in the image to a live surgery, gives you better understanding of the whole process – both from the medical professional’s perspective, and the product development perspective.”
Working at the crossroads of clinical work, medical research and technology also brings up new opportunities for research.
“I am writing my licentiate thesis on dental genetics. If I wasn't, I could have gotten both the subject and the research material from this work. After this summer, the material would have been all ready, apart from the actual writing part.”, says Valtteri.
Not all research topics are born in the laboratories, or at the university - even when you have cross-disciplinary teams. Sometimes you want to work with companies, R&D, and novel technologies, too, to get the full understanding of what is possible. Once you know all the technology building blocks, you can really start to innovate on what is possible with the research.
Disior works with Researchers and Medical Students on research projects that cover analysis and modelling of both bones and soft tissue in CT and MRI images. To learn more, and to discuss future research projects, please contact Anna-Maria Henell.
Vilja Salo has just finished her first year at the Faculty of Medicine in Helsinki University. She will spend the summer with us at Disior, on HUS medical research projects.
“I never thought, that I could get to work on projects that are on the medical field, and relevant to my studies, this early. We only get to work as Junior Medical Doctors after the fourth year.”, says Vilja.
So far, Vilja has been working with Maxillofacial Surgeons and Neurosurgeons, on projects that cover both facial traumas and brain tissue. “I get an inside view to what goes on in the clinics and at the OR. I will also be able to join surgeries, as a student observer, way before it would happen at school.”, Vilja explains. “This really puts the studies into perspective, gives relevance and meaning to everything I’m learning.”
Relevance, meaning and purpose is also, what product development and co-creation is all about – both from the company’s and the clinic’s perspective. At Disior, we take pride in designing and building products that are meant for clinical use, and that fulfill a real, Doctor-specified need.
For this, close cooperation is needed with the Medical Doctors in both clinical settings and research.
“I’ve been here now for two weeks, and I have already seen a wide spectrum of potential research subjects for the future. And for my future specialty, when the time comes to choose it, this will play a role in showing, where the future of those specialties is going.”, says Vilja. “And what kind of software tools those Doctors will have in hand.”
“We are grateful to have people like Vilja with us”, says Anna-Maria Henell, Disior CEO. “This is the generation of innovation, starting their studies these days. They grow to become Doctors in an environment that here in Meilahti campus literally brings together the Faculty, the clinics and the companies.”
The Disior office, located in Terkko Health Hub, next door to Biomedicum and the HUS Head and Neck Center, is at the heart of the Helsinki University project, where the goal is to bring together these four key elements to enable innovation in Med Tech: the students, the clinicians, the researchers and the companies.
“These students will combine the qualities of a good doctor and the capabilities of an innovator, who understand the possibilities and potential of new technology. They have learned how to play with it, even before it is a ready-made product, and can build it, combining the best of the two worlds: Med and Tech.”, says Anna-Maria.
Running a successful startup is all about people. Not just teams, but networks. There’s the proverbial garage, somewhere in sunny California, where success stories start… But no-one ever really succeeded working alone, garage or not.
As a Med Tech startup, you need several networks: investors and business mentors for the financial side, but also for the Board room work. Medical professional for the clinical perspective. And fellow startups, scale-ups and colleagues in large companies for peer Support and networking.
Last weeks have been busy with events, from Upgraded Life Festival to Arctic15, Terveydenhuollon ATK-Päivät to private networking events across the city. All of them perfect opportunities to meet people and to make things happen – for your company and for others.
We are happy to have Maki.vc as our investor. Last Friday, Anna-Maria Henell was on stage at Upgraded Life Festival discussing the startup-investor relationship with Ilkka Kivimäki. If you weren’t there, here are the keys to success, according to them:
For the last point, it also nails down what was discussed at Female Leaders night last week. Organized by Helsinki Chamber of Commerce, the broader topic was Women in Tech, leadership and leading transformation. And it was all about the power of networks – whether it’s the career path, leading a startup or finding an investor.
Help others and you will be helped. Share the information you have, the good contacts, and the useful experiences. The good deeds will always be returned, someway or another!
Suomalaisen Med Tech -messukävijän kevät on kiireinen tulevat viikot. Ainakin, jos katsoo toimitusjohtajamme Anna-Maria Henellin kalenteria. Anna-Maria matkustaa mukanaan Disiorin ohjelmistot, sovelluskonseptit, tieto uusimmista tutkimusavauksista ja Microsoftin HoloLensit kokeiltavaksi. Yhteystiedot löytyvät täältä.
22.-23.05.2018, Jyväskylän paviljonki
ATK-päivät kokoaa yhteen terveydenhuollon ammattilaisia ja alan järjestelmätoimittajia. Ohjelmassa kaikkea SOTEsta uusiin sairaalahankkeisiin ja tulevaisuuden teknologioiden parhaisiin paloihin niin ohjelmistoissa, tietojärjestelmissä kuin robotiikassakin. Paikkana tänä vuonna Jyväskylän Paviljonki. Löydät Disiorin tapahtuman startup-alueelta.
Upgraded Life Festival 2018
31.05. - 01.06.2018, Biomedicum, Meilahti, Helsinki
Suomen suurin tapahtuma Health Tech ja Med Tech alan startupeille, innovaatioille ja sijoittajille!
Anna-Maria Henell ja Ilkka Kivimäki puhuvat perjantaina 01.06. päälavalla startupin ja rahoittajan yhteistyöstä:
It’s Not Just about Money – The Startup x Investor Journey with Disior and Maki.vc.
Disiorin väkeä löydät myös Health Capital Helsingin osastolta tapahtuman aikana, ja tietysti toimistoltamme naapurirakennuksesta eli Terkko Health Hubista.
Spring Mingle päättää ULFin perjantaina klo 15-17, ja järjestetään Terkko Health Hubissa, tervetuloa lasilliselle kuohuvaa!
Tekoäly ja tulevaisuus. Käyttökohteet, sovellukset ja lisäarvo. Näitä pohdittiin tänään niin yritysmaailman kuin poliitikkojenkin toimesta. Ja suuret linjat pitääkin löytää suurilla foorumeilla. Minulla itselläni on ilo pohtia näitä joka päivä omassa työssäni. Sekä tekoälyn, että monen muun teknologian kannalta.
Oma näkökulmani on hyvin käytännönläheinen. Mihin uusia teknologioita, kuten tekoälyä, yhdistettyä- ja virtuaalitodellisuutta sekä matemaattista mallintamista voi ja kannattaa käyttää? Ja miten?
Disior menee suoraan Health-kategoriaan, ja tarkemmin Medical-puolelle. Me tuomme uutta teknologiaa lääkärien työkaluksi. Toimintaamme ja tuotekehitystämme ohjaa kliininen hyöty: minkälaisista sovelluksista on todella apua potilastyössä.
Vanha kunnon Ford-sitaatti väittää Henry Fordin sanoneen, ”jos olisin kysynyt asiakkailta, mitä he haluavat, he olisivat toivoneet nopeampia hevosia.” Tämä on tulevaisuuden teknologioiden kanssa enemmän kuin ajankohtaista. Ei pidä siirtää vanhaa maailmaa sellaisenaan tekoälyn ja muiden uusien teknologioiden maailmaan. Ei mietitä sovelluksia sen kautta, miten parannettaisiin vanhaa. Vaan koitetaan löytää kokonaan uusia tapoja tehdä asioita.
Med Techissä ei riitä, että sovellus on insinöörin mielestä hyvä. Sen täytyy olla hyvä ja hyödyllinen myös lääkärin mielestä. Tällaisten sovellusten löytäminen vaatii kaksisuuntaista kommunikointia. Minun on osattava kertoa, mikä on mahdollista. Eli minkälaisista teknologia-palikoista voidaan uutta alkaa rakentamaan. Vasta kun palikat ovat selvillä, kannattaa alkaa hahmottamaan mitä niistä voi tehdä. Osaksi tästä syystä, tai tämän ansiosta, olin tänään mukana Porvoossa Microsoftin kanssa esittelemässä Disiorin HoloLens-sovellusta leukakirurgiaan.
Disior on automatisoidun mallintamisen ja optimoinnin uranuurtaja, ja Med Tech -startup Suomesta. Yritys kehittää täysin uudenlaista tapaa mitata ja mallintaa luunmurtumia ja pehmytkudosta. Analyysiohjelmistot perustuvat TT- tai MRI-kuvan muuttamiseen matemaattiseksi malliksi. Tällöin kuvista saadaan automaattisesti potilaskohtaiset tiedot diagnosointiin ja hoitoon, ja niihin voidaan lisätä liikkeen vaikutus. Tekoälyn (AI) ja virtuaalisen visualisoinnin (MR ja VR) käytössä tällainen data avaa uusia mahdollisuuksia ja ohittaa perinteiseen kuvantunnistukseen perustuvan datan ongelmat.
Lisätietoja TIEKEn tilaisuudesta: https://tietoyhteiskunta-akatemia.fi/
We started the year 2018 by welcoming Markku Laitinen and Pia Laine to join Disior, and by us all moving to a larger office in Terkko Health Hub. Markku Sillanpää joined the team already on November.
Markku Laitinen is experienced in engineering mechanics, applied mathematics and Finite Element Methods and in driving business as an entrepreneur. In Disior, he can combine the two skills, and takes the role of Vice President, Engineering and Quality.
“I’ll be moving from working with engineering mechanics to human biomechanics. I'm excited to see this change – at Disior we have fantastic technologies that we can bring to doctors everyday use, to change what they can get out of today’s medical images.”, says Markku.
Pia joins the Tech Team, bringing her skills as a mathematician to algorithm development. She will also work on developing machine learning and artificial intelligence as part of our software offering.
“I feel excited and privileged to bring my mathematical background and long experience in industrial R&D to a field that has a higher purpose – to help doctors in their work.”, says Pia.
Markku Sillanpää is building the Quality Management System for Medical Device Certificate and CE-mark. With background in reliability testing and quality verification in industrial R&D, Markku brings in systematic and analytical way to build world-class quality and documentation systems for the software.
"We are happy to welcome Markku, Pia and Markku to join the team! I am proud to see the company grow, and to have such a talented bunch of people on board!", says Anna-Maria Henell, CEO.
Anna-Maria Henell kirjoitti vierasblogin Teknologiateollisuuden 100-vuotissäätiön "Sata tarinaa matematiikasta"-blogiin. Lue juttu täältä: Pääraaka-aineena matematiikka, eli miten matematiikasta tehdään tuote.
Our CEO, Anna-Maria Henell, as a guest blogger (in Finnish). "100 Stories of Mathematics" is a blog by Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.
Here are the top moments for our team at Slush this year:
Anna-Maria Pitching in Sino Track Finals
Disior was selected to the Finals with nine other companies from various fields. The events was organized by COMB+, Pivot5, Helsinki Business Hub, Ascend Capital Partners and City of Helsinki.
Disior featured in Med City News
We were invited to meet international press at Slush Media Tram, organized by Finpro and Tekes. The event brought together 15 startups and journalists from around the Globe, visiting Helsinki for Slush. This article was one of the results of one-hour tram drive – also an excellent opportunity to see Helsinki without getting your feet wet.
Life Science and Health Investor Lunch
Our CEO Anna-Maria pitched Disior at the Life Science and Health Investor Lunch on Thursday. Hosted by Tech Tour and Health Capital Helsinki, the event gathered together investors and startups that operate in the Med Tech field with focus ranging from pharma to technology.
Stand at the main event and at Slush Y Science
We had a stand during Thursday at the main event, with Juha Tampio, Toni Paavola and Anna-Maria Henell on duty. Hosted at the Microsoft area, we were demoing both the software and our HoloLens application. Juha got mentioned in a Taloussanomat article on Slush.
The main event itself - Slush 2017
Slush has the energy level like no other expo or event. Just walking around the main hall is an exciting experience, and the variety of companies, products and people is breathtaking. You get to test and see more new things and technologies than probably anywhere else in Finland at one given time. Also, listening to the pitches is great. The great ones are an inspiration. The fresh, new ones serve as an invaluable learning experience in how the pitch sounds to someone who hears it for the first time. A hard thing to think of when you're practicing yours for the thousandth time!
This Monday, I traveled to Boston for a week with a team of three companies: Disior, Web Microscope and Surgify, with Declan Flaherty and Markku Fagerlund from Health Capital Helsinki.
The trip is part of the market exposure program, to plan the entry strategies for the US market.
The first day, we visited CIC Cambridge. The place is a community, office and co-working space for innovative companies, with history as a startup hub since 1999. It’s made for networking and co-creation, as it has food served around the clock for the people to sit and eat together. Events are rotating at different locations around the building, so you keep on meeting new people.
This builds the same kind of innovation culture as MIT campus and the likes – work together, share your learnings, help the others. With parallel problems, different research and different fields can help each other. Looking forwards to hosting similar culture at the Terkko Health Hub in Finland!
As for the work ethics, they also have showers there, which is nice as I heard a story or two of people ending up sleeping there after a long day.
In the first two days, I have met with people from both med tech industry and local university hospitals and clinics. The long history of entrepreneurship and innovation culture comes through in people helping, connecting and networking. “If I can’t help you, I’ll introduce you to someone who can” is a common practice
And what comes to sales pitch, that’s all about the networks, too. Figure out who you want to talk to, and who you need to do the introduction. Be prepared to meet several times, before things start to happen. And when they do, they really do – the best networks here are big.
The best meetings and the best pitches can happen anywhere. Not in a meeting room, but over a coffee when someone knows someone.
Anna-Maria Henell is the CEO and Founder of Disior.