Q&A with Anna Baecklund, CTO & Founder at Oppioo

Media 7 | September 21, 2021

Anna Baecklund,
Anna Baecklund, CTO & Founder at Oppioo, is a Data Scientist Leader, A skilled communicator capable of explaining complex issues with clarity to diverse audiences. With MSc in engineering physics, Anna is responsible for leading innovation using data science including the development of new insights, advanced modelling techniques, and AI capabilities. With Oppio, An AI companion app, she aims to motivate cancer patients who want to speed up and improve their rehab.

AI-enabled precision health tools can identify potential risks and suggest preventative interventions.

MEDIA7: You have a long career experience in diverse fields ranging from teaching physics and mathematics to being a Data Scientist Leader. How has all this experience helped you play your current role at Oppioo?
ANNA BAECKLUND:
My diverse set of experiences has helped a lot working with Oppioo; all from product development, to data handling, and to pitching to investors. After receiving my MSc in engineering physics, I worked as a quantitative analyst and data scientist in finance for several years before starting as head of data science at a major Swedish retail firm and CTO at Oppioo. As a result, I have a solid knowledge of data analysis as well as handling personal data and security issues – which is important not only in finance and retail but also in MedTech. As technology focuses more on integrating applications, processes, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, a CTO must follow the frontier of big data, streaming analytics, and cloud technology to remain innovative and stay competitive.Diverse skills allow you to think about specific problems in a different and often more strategic way. By being able to look at a problem from different angles and draw on a wealth of (not immediately relevant) experience, you can come up with innovative and creative solutions.All this experience is beneficial for developing an ai-driven patient-centered digital companion.


M7: You have recently partnered with 180 Degrees Consulting. Tell us about some developments at Oppioo that all of you are excited about
AB:
We have partnered with two great teams at 180 Degrees consulting and the London School of Economics. We are working together to get deeper market and customer insights that will be valuable in the development of both our product and business model. We are excited about the business opportunity this understanding gives us.


Limit time-wasting activities and people. Try to draw boundaries so that you can devote quality time to high-priority people and activities.



M7: What are the challenges that you face regarding handling AI technologies at Oppioo?
AB:
At Oppioo we want to improve the health of cancer patients, improve the patient experience and reduce the costs of health care. To do so, we need to work with patient data which means a lot of legal challenges. Medical data is sensitive and subject to privacy regulations that vary across jurisdictions. Companies that develop AI solutions for health care and medicine can run afoul of privacy laws if they’re not careful, and the MedTech industry is still finding the balance between access to data and protecting sensitive health data. Apart from data privacy concerns, there is also the issue of regulations. We want to be classified as a medical device to be able to give AI-driven individual healthcare advice to patients. However, it’s a time-consuming and difficult process to obtain CE marking. In fact, most of the challenges in AI are not technical applications of AI. There is the question of the quality and usability of data. In other industries, data is generally reliable and accurately measured (such as velocity data to predict highway traffic).  In healthcare, data can be subjective, and often inaccurate.


M7: What’s top of the list for what Oppioo wants to achieve by the end of this year and as you start moving into the next year?
AB:
At the end of this year, we aim to launch our product and get our first paying users. We are developing our platform together with cancer patients and health care providers to make it patient-centered. This is the biggest milestone we want to achieve and will be the start of our funding round. Next year will start with a post-product launch where we focus on understanding how well our product is accepted by end-users so that we can improve it. We will also continue building our community and expanding and strengthening our collaborations.


Diverse skills allow you to think about specific problems in a different and often more strategic way.



M7: Few years down the line, how do you see AI changing the world around us? Especially in the healthcare industry?
AB:
The future of AI in healthcare can be defined as better medical outcomes achieved through more accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment, as well as more informed and engaged patients empowered with easy access to healthcare support. AI will help us develop precision medicine and individualized healthcare with the patient in the center.  Precision health is a relatively new solution focused on preventative care which is based on patient data collected from genetic information, wearable devices and electronic health systems. Using information such as a patient’s lifestyle, genetic makeup, environment, and biometric healthcare data, AI-enabled precision health tools can identify potential risks and suggest preventative interventions.


M7: What are some of your preferred marketing channels given your target customers?
AB:
We want our users to start using Oppioo as early as possible during the cancer treatment, ideally already at the diagnosis stage. Hence Oppioo initially needs to be present where the newly diagnosed cancer patients are looking for information, such as health care providers, cancer societies, the regional or national care guides and social media groups. Therefore, established collaborations with reliable organizations and a frequent presence in social media channels are keys to our distribution chain. We are dependent on our network of collaboration partners, and every time we want to enter a market we need to find collaboration partners, such as local physiotherapists, health care providers etc. that are willing to promote the benefits of using Oppioo from an early stage of the cancer treatment.  The user can of course use Oppioo without these collaborations as well, but we believe that the best results will be reached when the user is supported by health care providers.


M7: Congratulations on being listed as one of the top ten talents in the Tech Vertical in the Swedish Nova 111-list. What is your secret to maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life?
AB:
Thank you! I’m honored and grateful to have been included as one of the change-makers in Technology in Sweden.
My first advice is to work with something you enjoy since you spend so many hours of your day at work. But a more in-depth answer is that it’s very, very difficult to maintain a healthy balance even if you like what you work with. I think that work-life balance can be seen as a cycle, not an achievement; something to thrive for, that constantly changes with life. With that being said, I have a few life-hacks that I tend to come back to. The first is exercise and meditation.You can start small, e.g. by booking walking meetings instead of sitting in front of the computer. Ask yourself what’s currently causing you stress. Rethink your priorities, and put in time in the calendar now and then to reflect. A rational understanding of the decisions and priorities driving your life is important but equally important is emotional reflexivity - that is, the capacity to recognize how a situation is making you feel. Awareness of your emotional state is essential in order to determine the changes you want to make in your work and in your life. And last but not least: limit time-wasting activities and people. Try to draw boundaries so that you can devote quality time to high-priority people and activities. I personally like the Pomodoro Technique to help me focus.

ABOUT OPPIOO

Oppioo is a patient-centered product that supports patients to plan and execute physical activity in conjunction with the treatment plan. Oppioo predicts what activity gives optimal effect and when during the cancer treatment based on patient data and the patient’s energy level. To do so, Oppioo collects activity data from the user’s smartphone and user feedback to create a personalized automated coaching plan with the help of AI models. Oppioo allows for sharing data with health care providers.

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Conformis, Inc. | August 02, 2022

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Axenya Holdings Inc | August 04, 2022

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MCI Onehealth Partners with MDClone to Accelerate Research through Global Clinical Intelligence Offering

MCI Onehealth Technologies, Inc. | July 29, 2022

MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. a clinician-led healthcare technology company focused on increasing access to and quality of healthcare, and MDClone, a digital health company and leader in synthetic data, are pleased to announce an advanced clinical intelligence offering for their global partners. This offering combines real-world health insights with mirrored synthetic data to power deeper research and inspire novel therapeutic development. “MCI’s collaboration with MDClone will provide our partners with greater access to high-value data-insights-as-a-service for an array of research, clinical and data science needs. 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Using the MDClone ADAMS Platform analytics tools and synthetic data capabilities, clinicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals can explore healthcare data more efficiently to accelerate real-world evidence processes. With synthetic data capabilities at the forefront, users can leverage self-service tools to access, analyze, and share information without privacy concerns. Additionally, the real-time identification and extraction of information about a specific population of interest allows users at healthcare systems to overcome some of the common barriers that can slow clinical data projects’ progress. “We’re thrilled to partner with innovators like MCI in the healthcare and life science industries and beyond. Together, we can provide tailored clinical insights that meet clients’ needs, and from those insights, MDClone can generate synthetic data that researchers can use to better understand disease progression, enhance care delivery, and develop new products that can improve patient outcomes,” said Josh Rubel, Chief Operating Officer of MDClone. In keeping with its objective to be a preeminent health technology leader, MCI nurtures international opportunities to leverage its vast pool of high-quality structured clinical information. The MDClone ADAMS Platform’s unique ability to convert datasets and cohorts of interest into synthetic files that are statistically comparable to the original data, but composed entirely of artificial patients, aids in broader and more secure access and opens the doors to third-party access and larger-scale research impact. MCI’s audience for health insights continues to grow in Canada and will further benefit from access to MDClone’s global roster of top-tier health system and pharma relationships. The collaboration with MDClone will accelerate MCI’s entry into the clinical insights and analytics sectors in the United States of America and Israel, including potential access to headquarter-level decision-makers of global pharma and life science leaders. “Through this commercial arrangement, we each have the benefit of immediate introduction to the active client rosters of the other, and we each gain a superior — and unique — offering to acquire new partners, fueling the expansion of MCI’s health insight services into international markets,” added Dr. Dobranowski. About MCI MCI is a healthcare technology company focused on empowering patients and doctors with advanced technologies to increase access, improve quality, and reduce healthcare costs. As part of the healthcare community for over 30 years, MCI operates one of Canada’s leading primary care networks with nearly 260 physicians and specialists, serves more than one million patients annually and had nearly 300,000 telehealth visits last year, including online visits via mciconnect.ca. MCI additionally offers an expanding suite of occupational health service offerings that support a growing list of nearly 600 corporate customers. Led by a proven management team of doctors and experienced executives, MCI remains focused on executing a strategy centered around acquiring technology and health services that complement the company’s current roadmap. About MDClone MDClone offers an innovative, self-service data analytics environment powering exploration, discovery, and collaboration throughout healthcare ecosystems cross-institutionally and globally. The powerful underlying infrastructure of the MDClone ADAMS Platform allows users to overcome common barriers in healthcare in order to organize, access, and protect the privacy of patient data while accelerating research, improving operations and quality, and driving innovation to deliver better patient outcomes. Founded in Israel in 2016, MDClone serves major health systems, payers, and life science customers in the United States, Canada, and Israel.

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Spotlight

Oppioo

Oppioo

Oppioo is a patient-centered product that supports patients to plan and execute physical activity in conjunction with the treatment plan. Oppioo predicts what activity gives optimal effect and when during the cancer treatment based on patient data and the patient’s energy level. To do so, Oppioo col...

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