About Us

Our vision is to shift chronic pain care from ad hoc random encounters to continuous precision care.

Pain patient meets scientist

Mika Marjalaakso and Vania Apkarian

Chronic pain is a $635 billion per year burden on the health care system and the most common reason for healthcare visits. Chronic pain is also the leading cause of long-term disability in the US. There are more than 1,000 pain medications and more than 50 non-drug therapies for chronic pain, yet no one knows which patient should be treated how. 

Aivo changes all this. 

Aivo was born when a serial entrepreneur and chronic pain sufferer Mika Marjalaakso obsessively studied scientific literature for a cure and in the process discovered the work of Professor Apkarian, a renowned neuroscientist who used brain imaging to show that the brain structure - not the tissue damage - best predicts the symptom patterns and differential treatment response. Over a decade of Prof. Apkarian’s research emphasized that emotional learning and memory underlie the long-term suffering of chronic pain. He also discovered that the current healthcare model does not adequately treat the core mechanisms of chronic pain. 

Aivo (pronounced like “aye” plus “vo”) is Finnish and translates to “brain”. This signifies that we target the mind instead of body. And to find individualized and dynamically updated care plan, we are using in-app digital biomarkers and machine learning models leveraging Dr. Apkarian’s decades of work at Northwestern University, Chicago. We are starting with chronic low back pain, but we’ve got big ambitions. And we won’t stop until we’ve succeeded at redefining what chronic pain care means.

Mika Marjalaakso

Dr. Vania Apkarian
Chief Science Officer


Chicago, IL

Chicago is the hub for our scientific and clinical operations

Helsinki, FI

Helsinki is the hub for our tech development, design, and marketing

Want to join our team?

If you have the inner fire to help people have better life we might have a job for you. See our open positions and apply.
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