Live Strong: Interview with Lena Karjaluoto at HUR, Finland on Innovative Healthcare Technology Solutions

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In our interview with Lena Karjaluoto, Executive Vice President, HUR, Finland, she explains how her company helps improve people’s life long strength through innovative healthcare technology solutions designed based on evidence based research.

Here are the excerpts:

AG: What solutions does your company offer?

Lena: We offer total solutions on how to test people correctly, and to start accurate training programme on how to build muscle, have a better balance and to test again after 12 weeks on what kind of impact this has generated on the health and progress can be seen while performing activities like putting your shoes on, visiting bathroom independently, etc. We believe in life long strength. Strength belongs to everyone and it is never too late. We have many persons over 100 years old in Finland using HUR equipment’s weekly.

Exercising with HUR equipment’s in a gym or a community place is always fun, when you exercise in a group, it benefits your social health, so post exercise, the group can hang out together for other fun activities too.

AG: You have decades of experience in the healthcare technology. What are some of the latest trends in the industry?

Lena: I would like to begin saying that, whenever we talk about health care technology, we need a lot of evidence based research, in how to test and treat the people in a correct way. HUR’s main focus is on rehabilitation and exercise. This means how to take care of muscle strength, body balance and wellbeing of a person soon after a surgery. So what we need is an evidence based concept on how to treat for example type 2 diabetes, which is always a big issue here in Middle East, Finland and all over the world. Also we have seen people facing hypertension, cardiac diseases, false prevention, which is getting very important in most of world.

Aging population is exploding in many countries like Europe, North America and Asia specially. We need to have a good concept on how to do test, how to exercise daily, and how to implement the info that u get from HUR system and transfer the same into customer’s system to ensure they are doing the right exercise to achieve good results. For this we have special baseline concepts for ach disease.

AG: What are some of the latest innovations in healthcare technology?

Lena: I would again like to highlight the evidence based research on what development you can achieve out of this. At HUR we have a medical concept for diabetes, hypertension, falls prevention and so on. It is very important for us since people are using HUR solution and technology based equipment, the software, so that they know how to test and use the equipment the correct way in order to achieve positive results from customers and patients. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the equipment is, if we are not able to educate our customers on how to use the machines effectively to get good results, to which we all are aiming for.

AG: Can you share some details on the HUR air resistance exercise equipment which is manufactured in Finland and distributed in over 50 countries?

Lena: I would like to talk about the soul of our machine is the pneumatic system, which is air resistance, that makes the movement very safe for joints, tissues and muscles so that nobody can injure themselves. And one can also start from almost zero resistance, soon after a surgery or if one is a fragile old person, he/she can start exercising and get good results faster. It’s both eccentric and concentric movements so you can get up from the chair and sit down too on your own. Not all equipment support this. While soul is the movement and the brain acts as the software. All the helping tools we provide to physios, doctors, personal trainers are to make their lives easier.

AG: You were part of the research team at WELMED LABs. Can you shed some light on the importance of R&D and how tie-ups with research companies and universities helps your company in product development?

Lena: I travel a lot across the world and meet up various people from different universities, hospitals and companies. And I am very happy concerning the WELMED labs which belongs to Chydenius university in Finland, as they were smart to include high tech companies into the research from the beginning. And with the help of their evidence-based research and statistics, we were able to develop good new features to our equipment, protocols and software. It is so important for universities to include companies in such kind of projects, so that you can implement wonderful research, results and bring fruitful developments in the society so that people can have a good future out of these research papers.

AG: What are some of the opportunities and challenges for the healthcare technology sector?

Lena: The opportunity I see is the research based evidence and statistics which we get, we are then able to develop good solutions and products for the people. For challenge, I can say that nowadays, since we have a lot of information around us, we need evidence based information to help doctors to make right diagnosis.

AG: HUR air resistance is developed as the result of a research project at the University of Technology, Helsinki. Can you share more details on this came through?

Lena: It started in 89 where HUR’s owner and CEO, Mats Manderbacka was studying at UOT, Helsinki, this started as a project where a professor use to teach and they got an enquiry from elite sportsmen on what kind of equipment to use for explosive (fast movement) training, this is helpful for the ones involved in sports, also for falls prevention, elderly people.

AG: What are your expectations from Arab Health 2020?

Lena: Arab Health is a very important event for us. This is the one exhibition; we take part every year. Where we look forward to meet our customers, have in-depth discussion on our products, innovations. We also meet our distributors and look out for new business via networking from different counties like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc. We look forward to expand more in the Middle East.

AG: Can you share your plans for your company’s expansion in the region?

Lena: We really look forward to expand our business in the Middle East. First of all, we would like to make people aware about how important the exercise is, no matter how old or young you are. American school in Kuwait, have taken our solution as a part of their education schedule for youngsters and it has been really successful. Also our equipment’s are used by elderly people in Sharjah at Old People’s Home.

AG: As it’s now one of the top health related news right now, I have to ask you this – your thoughts on Novel-Coronavirus?

Lena: Of course, we are not directly related to Coronavirus, since our business model is different, but like I have been pointing out that research is very important, what I hope for is now the world will take a close look on what is the reason behind this virus and we should all learn on how to avoid such kind of situation in future and find speedy solution to tackle this virus at present.

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