Innovating Medical Technologies in Interdisciplinary Teams


Fellows of the Biodesign Finland project in 2018


Tuomas Hyytiä, M.Sc. (Tech.)

Tuomas is an engineer with a curious mind and a Master’s degree from Aalto University, where he majored in Bionics and minored in Economics. During the last few years, Tuomas has worked both in a big corporation and in high-growth startups. At Ericsson, he was part of an innovation team that brought together engineers, design professionals and business people to create new product concepts and to grow innovation culture within the company. More recently, Tuomas has been responsible for customer relationships in B2B software startups. He believes in the power of modern product development methods, such as lean startup, and is thrilled to dig into the problem space of healthcare. In his spare time Tuomas enjoys doing sports such as floorball, football and orienteering.

Elina Palovuori, M.Sc. (Tech.)

Elina is a textile professional with a Master’s degree in fibre and textile technology from Tampere University of Technology. For 11 years she has worked on body-monitoring wearables in developing, manufacturing, and B2B selling of textile-integrated electronics. Having background also in traditional textile industry as well as in arts and crafts, she is a passionate fibre and textile material enthusiast with vast interest on everything new. Elina spends her spare time with family including three kids and a husband. She enjoys reading, going to theatre, visiting art galleries, practicing pilates, and bokashi gardening.

Sakari Lukkarinen, D.Sc. (Tech)

Sakari is an engineer with a doctorate in electrical engineering from Aalto University. His Master’s degree is from Helsinki University of Technology, where he majored in biophysics, medical technology and information sciences. From previous works Sakari has gained experience from entrepreneurship, research and development, technical sales and marketing. For the last 7 years he has been a Senior Lecturer at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences teaching information, health and wellbeing technology, mostly for the bachelor of engineering students, but also visited at nursing degree programmes. In his spare time Sakari enjoys travelling, reading, playing floorball, practicing yin and flow yoga at gym’s group lessons, and going outdoors with his wife and two rescue dogs.

Tuomas Klockars, MD, Ph.D., Docent

Tuomas Klockars is a specialist in Ear, Nose and Throat diseases. Last years he has been working as a specialist and as Clinical Associate Professor in the Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki. His clinical interests include pediatric ENT diseases and especially inborn head and neck anomalies . In addition to clinical work Tuomas has done more than 20 years of medical research. He has over 50 scientific publications ranging from molecular genetics to medical detection dogs. During his spare time Tuomas enjoys mountain biking, kayaking and fly-fishing.

Fellows of the Biodesign Finland project in 2017


From left to right: Jari Rantala, Kalle Kotilahti, and Sami Elamo. Picture: Mikko Raskinen, Aalto University

Sami Elamo, M.D., M.Sc.

Sami is a medical doctor with a specialist degree in orthopedics and traumatology from the University of Turku. He also holds a degree in the field of industrial engineering from Tampere University of Technology. In addition to clinical work, Sami has worked along the way in IT industry for companies like Logica and CGI. He has also participated in projects concerning patient record systems and registries in Turku University Hospital. Sami is pursuing a Ph.D. degree; his study deals with the operative treatment of traumatic anteroinferior instability of the shoulder. Sami spends his spare time with his family with two little boys and wife doing sports and travelling. Floorball, cross-country and telemark skiing, snowboarding, and running keep him going.

Kalle Kotilahti, Ph.D.

Kalle is an engineer with a doctorate in Engineering Physics from Aalto University. For the last 13 years, he has worked as a researcher developing functional brain imaging suitable for small children. Kalle has a constant drive to develop easier, faster, and more efficient solutions for research as well as for everyday problems. He sees the Biodesign Finland project as a unique chance for an engineer to innovate by starting from the actual clinical needs. When not working, Kalle enjoys cycling, trekking, and traveling with his family.

Jari Rantala, M.Sc.

Jari is an innovation and technology transfer professional with a M.Sc. degree from Tampere University of Technology, where he majored in Physics and minored in Biomedical Engineering. Jari has wide experience from different aspects and roles of research-based innovation development, including intellectual-property creation, start-up coaching, entrepreneurship, licensing negotiation, business development, and funding preparation. Jari believes in multidisciplinary co-creation and in the fact that today’s blue ocean innovations are born on the edges of different disciplines. In his spare time, Jari enjoys “torturing” himself in the gym, traveling, drawing, and taking long walks with his two old best friends (dogs) plus one younger (wife) ;).

Fellows of the Biodesign Finland project in 2016


From left to right: Katja Ivanitskiy, Anssi Mikola, Jukka Kärkimaa and Sakari Nikinmaa

Katja Ivanitskiy, M.D.

Katja is a medical doctor with a specialist degree in Public Health Medicine at the University of Helsinki. In addition to clinical experience gained as a physician in primary health care, Katja has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the areas of clinical trials and drug safety and as an investigator in clinical vaccine trials at the Vaccine Research Center of the University of Tampere. Katja has also wide regulatory experience on medicinal products that she gained while working in pharmacovigilance at the Finnish Medicines Agency in close collaboration with the European Medicines Agency. Katja is interested in entrepreneurship and, in her spare time, dedicates herself to equestrian sports and competes in showjumping.

Anssi Mikola, M.Sc.

Anssi is a serial entrepreneur with a master’s degree in Naval Engineering. For the last 15 years, he has been working on making health and social care more efficient. Anssi’s strengths are an endless appetite for leaning about new problems and solutions and combining them into new solutions. After numerous years of healthcare consulting projects in UK, Scandinavia, and India, Anssi co-founded Megaklinikka, which commercialized a process innovation of turning dental care patient- rather than dentist-driven. The result was a 40% reduction in cost and doubling the productivity of the dentists. The company is treating over 30,000 patients a year. In his spare time, Anssi enjoys biking, skiing, sailing, and travelling – when not inventing new products or businesses.

Jukka Kärkimaa, M.Sc.

Jukka is a passionate engineer with a M.Sc. degree in Engineering Physics from Aalto University. In addition to experimental physics he has a solid understanding of how to best extract relevant information from data, based on his minor in Information and Computer Science and several years of industry experience from practical, data-intensive applications. Before joining Biodesign Finland, he worked at Eniram Ltd delivering performance-optimization systems and analytics to the maritime industry, helping large vessels to save fuel. Driven by his curiosity of systems thinking, Jukka sees Biodesign as the best way forward in developing healthcare systems and as an ideal platform for talented people to contribute to the society. In his spare time, Jukka enjoys running, dancing, yoga, and spending time in nature with his friends and family.ärkimaa-30b...

Sakari Nikinmaa, M.Sc.

Sakari received his master's degree at Aalto University in 2016 majoring in bioelectronics and minoring in industrial management. He has gained substantial research and work experience by working three years at the HBBG laboratory at Aalto University and by doing an internship in the Andino Lab at UCSF in California. During his studies and work, Sakari has specialized in design and manufacturing of microfluidic systems with embedded electronics and in the research of biological systems. Sakari is a team player who believes that interdisciplinary teamwork is the greatest source of innovation. He loves mountain biking, climbing, and spending time outdoors with his dog.