Our latest interview “target” is HeiaHeia’s CEO Jussi Raisanen, who holds a Master’s degree in technology (Industrial Management) from the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University). Entrepreneur in heart, Jussi founded his first software company, a mobile email startup, while still at the university. The company, Smartner, grew into a market leader in mobile email in EMEA and APAC markets by 2005, when it was acquired by SEVEN Networks. Afterwards, he worked for two other mobile startups, and now he’s trying to help people take better care of themselves with HeiaHeia.
Here’s what he had to say…
How would you pitch your company? What’s your elevator pitch?
HeiaHeia.com provides entertaining and gamified solutions to help people take better care of themselves. The company offers an all-in-one workplace wellness tool for the modern employer. Since 2011, hundreds of employers and numerous insurance and wellness companies worldwide have chosen HeiaHeia as the platform for their wellness programs, including PepsiCo, Ricoh, Ericsson, Nordea, and Janssen (Johnson&Johnson Pharmaceuticals). Said platform improves wellness program participation rates, makes healthy behavior changes more measurable, and creates a social community around healthy lifestyles.
What sets you apart from competitors?
Unlike most fitness apps, we enable setting up healthy communities of like-minded friends, fitness club members, colleagues etc. and managing these communities, setting shared targets, and tracking results. HeiaHeia can offer both an easy, casual personal wellness tool and a very powerful platform for employers.
What’s more, our platform can scale from individual users to small companies, all the way to very large organizations. In comparison, most mHealth and online wellness platforms are only focused either on individual users or very large corporate deployments. Small businesses are looking for solutions like ours, because we can offer a modern, constantly evolving SaaS platform at very competitive cost.
What’s your business model?
B2B SaaS: we offer our platform to enterprises for a monthly fee based on the number of users. On top of the basic platform, employers can purchase add-on features such as premium training program packages and content.
We work closely with partners in the industry, such as insurance companies and wellness coaches.
Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?
HeiaHeia is used by hundreds of companies, ranging in size from 20 to over 20,000 employees, in more than 30 countries. Our free personal edition is used in over 150 countries.
Where do you see the company going from here?
We see growing demand from employers who are increasingly looking for tools for improving employee wellness. Besides employers, non-profits and public organizations such as schools are contacting us to set up online wellness / health promotion platforms. We will hence continue to expand our footprint globally, and will also continuously develop our platform with new features. In parallel, because we have a huge amount of data from our users and customers, we will conduct research to better understand how our clients can organize better, more effective wellness programs.
Where do you see the mHealth industry going?
Currently one of the most interesting sectors is wearable technology. Personally, I believe that market is hyped and many of the current players will disappear in one way or another, but at the same time – the rise of wearable technology and various sensors has already radically changed the awareness regarding wellness technology in general.
Overall, mHealth is going to present attractive market opportunities for companies in the industry; it is such a vast market opportunity with several interesting segments and needs.
How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?
I think this depends on the market and product in question. If I look at the US, various activity trackers and wristbands are already very popular, whereas in many European countries they are still gaining momentum. Then again, HeiaHeia has achieved adoption rates in Scandinavia of up to 10% of working population — which could be considered mass market adoption.