Working at the forefront of digital health transformation – A word with Wellmo’s CEO and Founder Jaakko

Discover the inspiring journey of Jaakko Olkkonen, CEO and Founder of Wellmo, from a sabbatical at Nokia to pioneering digital health transformation. Learn about our mission, vision, and future plans!

It started with a sabbatical and a quest for personal wellness renovation. In 2007 Jaakko Olkkonen, the CEO and Founder of Wellmo, embarked on a pivotal life chapter after a decade-long tenure at Nokia that demanded tireless dedication and incessant travel. At Nokia, Jaakko had worked in multiple roles in the IT and B2B sectors. 

“It felt that I had reached a certain point in my career that it was time for something new”, Jaakko says.

Taking a sabbatical, a rejuvenating year off, had been a dream and a long-term plan for Jaakko. He wanted to focus on things that he had not had time for during the hectic Nokia years, like his family, his health, and self-discovery. 

“I made a health renovation and got to know and use health technology of that time. I realized that these are going to change the way people manage their health in the same way as technology had already changed the ways we communicate”, Jaakko says.  

That’s when Jaakko’s passion for making a meaningful impact on the world through health technology was ignited.

As the sabbatical was coming to an end, Jaakko discovered that some people in Nokia management had started to think the same way. Jaakko’s foray into digital health began with a project developing a health tech business for Nokia. This laid the foundation for the big idea of a platform designed to connect people with the health services, apps, and content they need.

How did Jaakko’s big idea expand into one of Europe’s most exciting health projects? Read on to learn more about what Wellmo is about and what the future for us looks like!

 

On a mission to digitalize healthcare

In 2013 Wellmo was founded. From Jaakko’s background in Nokia’s wellness sector, he got to know the digital health industry, formed relationships with the pioneers, large and small, and understood what was missing in the field. Being able to see the bigger picture and problems has always been Jaakko’s strength and one of the reasons behind Wellmo’s success.

What is the problem Wellmo is aiming to solve? 

“We saw that there were already over 90 000 health apps in app stores and at least equally many web-based services and websites looking for customers for their particular thing. Fragmentation was, and still is, tremendous. We concluded that there is a need for trusted brands with distribution power and business interest in recommending and providing the right health apps and content for the right users”, Jaakko explains. 

The trusted brands initially turned out to be insurance companies that have a business interest in helping insured people lead healthier lives and access quality care conveniently. 

“In turn, insurers need technology that ties many apps and services into a coherent and personalized experience for the end users. Wellmo is a ready platform for exactly that”, Jaakko explains the problem Wellmo solves.

So, driven by the desire to not just create another niche app but to bridge the gap between single service providers and their potential clients, Jaakko and his team envisioned Wellmo as an integrative powerhouse—a B2B, SaaS company propelling the digital health megatrend.

“Our mission is to enable large organizations such as insurance companies to make the most of the myriad health services dotting the market landscape, recommending the right ones for each of their customers and providing a distribution channel to startups seeking to scale their reach”, Jaakko explains.

 

"Our platform bridges the gap between service providers and clients, driving the digital health trend."

Building a profitable business to make people’s lives better through technology

Wellmo’s 11 years have been an exciting journey. 

The first years were a time of developing the product with some seed funding and revenues from pilot projects with customers from various sectors, healthcare, consumer goods and pharma. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Wellmo had zoomed in on insurance companies as the target customer segment and was experiencing accelerating growth. However, the pandemic put most insurers’ development projects on hold, and also Wellmo experienced a dip. After the pandemic, digital health services have become mainstream for insurance companies. 

Today, Wellmo is experiencing strong growth and is profitable. “Our target at the moment is to quickly ramp up revenues from the current 2M€ towards 10M€.”, Jaakko shares about the future plans.

Our typical customers are insurance companies and other players who serve large diverse customer bases and are interested in prevention and continuous customer relationships. Take a look at a couple of our customers and what the Wellmo-powered apps look like in real life:

Now, Wellmo operates across seven countries in Europe and the Middle East, nourishing its roots with an international team based in Finland. This accomplishment is not merely a milestone; it is a testament to the universal impact that Jaakko envisioned in his quest to improve health outcomes on a large scale.

Forming the core team and a culture of collaboration and trust

“At the moment, we are looking to scale our business and we are strengthening our core team to work towards our mission”, Jaakko says. 

This also means that the company culture is still taking its form. “The foundation of our company culture is built on trust and giving ownership to the professionals who are experts in the areas”, Jaakko says. He is very proud of his team’s strength and points out that Wellmo’s success depends on adding members who are talented, determined, and innovative. 

“I’m proud of our professionals who have taken on bigger boots than anticipated during the tougher times. They have courageously grown and learned to be the professionals they are today. Our team is the backbone of our business”, Jaakko says. 

With Wellmo’s growth, there will be more professional growth opportunities for the team.

“Now we are still a small team, so everyone gets to take as much ownership and responsibility as they desire”, Jaakko says.

 
In the bigger picture, Jaakko imagines a future where people have exactly the health information and advice they need at their fingertips 24/7. Personalization based on our needs, preferences and real-time data will be central.

“In the future, health data isn’t just recorded but actively utilized to guide and improve lives in real-time”, Jaakko shares. With this in mind, the future looks exciting and promising. 

Wellmo is on the edge of making this change happen, aiming to combine different parts into a smooth system of health solutions. With Jaakko leading, they are moving forward toward a future where technology truly makes a difference in our health and lives!

Wellmo in a short:

Share:

Other posts

What excites and interests our Software Developer Srijan Chapagain in working with Wellmo’s platform transforming digital health services?