We meet Marko Höynälä CEO of Kipuwex Ltd – Result Driven CEO & Winner Of 3 Innovation Competitions and a Serial Entrepreneur with Over 25 Years
Let’s Start the Interview
The Worlds Times: Explain the background of you and the Company in detail.
Marko Höynälä: With over 25 years of experience in executive-level positions at world high-tech companies in the telecommunications industry, I have consistently demonstrated my ability to deliver and work effectively in large, complex, and diverse multi-site organizations. Throughout my career, I have worked on global assignments for companies such as Nokia, Broadcom Communications, and Renesas Mobile Europe.
While I have enjoyed a successful career in hardware innovation across large multinationals and consumer IoT startups, my true passion lies in accessible and affordable healthcare.
It was year 2017, when I came across the local Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital district’s innovation competition, in which were sought four major global problems faced by healthcare professionals. One of the problems was measuring the pain of the children, objectively. I won the competition and that was start of the Kipuwex company. It was highly important that winning the hospital district’s innovation competition meant getting to work closely with healthcare professionals. Today we have extended our collaborations with leading medical institutions and hospitals within Europe and Asia.
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Marko Höynälä: Kipuwex aims to offer healthcare services to all individuals, irrespective of their age, gender, or financial status. In pursuit of this goal, we also strive to introduce the world’s first medical device capable of objectively measuring pain in infants and children aged 7 years and under.
Our technology has immense potential in the global market, but what truly drives us is the life-changing impact it can have on families in need. Think of the babies and children in pain, the families struggling in poverty, and the hope our technology can bring to their lives.
“Kipuwex’s mission is to combat healthcare inequality and help millions of people.”
“Kipuwex’s vision is to become a world leading company in pain management domain.”
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of KIPUWEX right now?
Marko Höynälä: We measure more physical parameters than any other device, with help of these physiological parameters we have possibility to measure pain objectively. We are doing that in the way, that it is affordable for the developing countries as well. Our technology has immense potential in the global market, but what truly drives us is the life-changing impact it can have on families in need. Think of the babies and children in pain, the families struggling in poverty, and the hope our technology can bring to their lives.
The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
Marko Höynälä: Chronic pain is deeply personal issue to me, as my father suffered from cancer. I saw how destructive chronic pain can be. He couldn’t handle the pain and committed suicide. Chronic pain is one of the largest medical burdens worldwide; we can’t even measure it consistently, so how can we treat it properly. Pain is often under diagnosed or over treated, both having long-term impacts on the lives of those it affects.
At first we started to develop automatic and objective medical device for pain measurement, but during the journey we have changed our strategy. Kipuwex device will be launched to the healthcare market as a complite remote monitoring device, in the second phase we will integrate pain measurement feature.
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?
Marko Höynälä: Securing funding has been a significant challenge, as the development of a medical device is a highly expensive process. This has been a major obstacle that our company has had to overcome, requiring a significant amount of effort and persistence in seeking support from various sources. Despite these challenges, we remain committed to our mission and are determined to bring our innovative medical device to market to help improve the lives of individuals and society as a whole.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
Marko Höynälä: Persistent
The Worlds Times: What do you value most about KIPUWEX vision?
Marko Höynälä: Our innovative solution, a remote monitoring device, telehealth and pain assessment device designed especially for babies and children. Our pain assessment feature is a game-changer in the medical industry. Did you know that up to 80% of children in the hospital experience significant pain, but less than half receive adequate pain management. This is a strategy that can have long-term consequences. Children who experience uncontrolled pain may suffer from anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. They may struggle to eat or drink, leading to malnourishment and dehydration. Chronic pain can even impair cognitive development and lead to long-term disabilities. Our pain assessment device uses advanced technology to accurately measure a child’s pain level, giving healthcare providers the information they need to provide the best possible care for their patients. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach pain management in children and can make a significant impact in the lives of those who suffer from chronic pain.
The Worlds Times: Tell us about a KIPUWEX project that forced you to be innovative and creative.
Marko Höynälä: We aim to provide a comprehensive package of both physiological and behavioral measurements that are reliable and accurate. Integrating so many measurements into tiny form factor and at the sometime minimize current consumption and memory use requires innovative design both from HW and SW point of view. Also algorithms we have developed are very efficient and optimized for our HW
The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of your company and how do they stand unique from your competitors?
Marko Höynälä: We measure more biomarkers than any other device on the market. Currently we are developing for the home users the first complete health report in the world.
Clearly we are aimed to find solution for pain experienced by children. Not many companies have even tried to measure pain from the children. There are competitors, who try to measure pain from the adults, but it’s more demanding when measuring pain from the children. And the market potential for our device is huge. The global remote patient monitoring devices market is projected to grow from USD 30.05 billion in 2021 to USD 101.02 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 18.9% during forecast period. The global market for pain management devices expected to reach $18.2 billion by 2029, expanding at a double-digit CAGR of 12.5% over the forecast period 2022-2029. This is significant indicator of the demand for our device, and we are well-positioned to take advance of this growing market.
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the roadblocks/challenges in your career? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?
Marko Höynälä: The development of our innovative medical device has been a challenging journey, requiring significant time, money, and effort. Securing funding has been a major obstacle, but we have remained persistent in seeking support from around the world. Technological challenges have also arisen, as we have had to ensure the reliability and functionality of the device’s measurements in such a small form factor. Meeting the regulatory requirements for a new medical device has also been a significant challenge, particularly when entering to market we need to obtain FDA or CE mark certification. Despite these challenges, we remain committed to the impact that our device can have on the lives of children and families, and we are determined to make a difference in the world.
Positive incident: Being recognized as one of the top 100 companies in the world by the Entrepreneurship World Cup is a significant achievement and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team. This recognition not only boosts the company’s reputation and visibility on a global scale, but also serves as a validation of its innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. It is an exciting milestone for the company, and a strong motivation to continue pushing forward with its mission to make a difference in the world.
Negative incident: As a startup, it can be challenging to remain competitive with larger companies in terms of offering attractive salaries to potential employees. This can make it difficult to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce, which is crucial for the success of any new company.
The Worlds Times: How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Marko Höynälä: Our company has a clear roadmap for the next two to three years. Our first priority is to launch Kipuwex as a remote monitoring device, in the second phase we launch with a special focus on its pain measurement feature. Once established in the human healthcare market, we plan to scale our product to animals, providing much-needed healthcare solutions to the veterinary industry. This expansion into animal healthcare is a key part of our long-term vision, and we are committed to achieving our goal of improving the lives of both humans and animals with our innovative technology.
The Worlds Times: Where is your leadership going? What benefits do your clients are getting from your company in this competitive world?
Marko Höynälä: The development of Kipuwex represents an important advancement for society as a whole. The need for a device like Kipuwex has been apparent for some time, and with advancements in technology, we are now able to bring it to life. Healthcare expenses continue to rise, and this presents a significant challenge for individuals and society as a whole. By leveraging the benefits of remote monitoring and digitalization, we can bring more affordable healthcare solutions to people, making healthcare more accessible and cost-effective. With Kipuwex, we can achieve more with less, and improve the quality of life for individuals while also benefiting society as a whole.
The Worlds Times: What are the services/solutions or products offered by your company as par with the current industry standards? Tell us something about your upcoming products or services?
Marko Höynälä: Kipuwex is a small and wireless, complete remote monitoring and pain assessment IoMT device, which measures 12 different physiological parameters, including pain. The device is attached to the patient’s chest with disposable ECG sticker. We measure more physiological parameters than any other similar device on the market. We have developed Kipuwex in the way, that it is affordable for developing countries as well.
Currently we are developing for the home users the first complete health report in the world. It’s consumer -centric digital health ecosystem for remote patient monitoring, in co-operation with unique global partnership. It is targeted for home users and it will give complete health report for the user, including an automatic ECG diagnosis. Diagnostic Algorithms for single lead ECG, can detect example arrythmias, Minnesota codes, single ECG shape abnormalities, prosnostic algorithms. Prosnostic algorithms determine parameters with proven predictive value in relation to serious cardiovascular events. Also Wellbeing algorithms for preventive care, personalized heart and emotional well-being monitoring.
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