Living with chronic pain since 2002, Aivo Health CEO and co-founder, Mika, was motivated by his own negative experience with chronic pain care. He set out to find a better option for pain management than what was currently available. His search for answers led him to a scientist, Dr. Vania Apkarian of Northwestern University. Dr. Apkarian is the leading authority on chronic pain research with his work spanning decades. Once the two met the stars aligned. Dr. Apkarian’s science had reached a maturity that made it possible to turn his findings into a service that could be delivered directly to people living with pain. Combined with Mika’s experience as a serial entrepreneur Aivo Health was born.
Aivo co-founder and CEO Mika Marjalaakso has struggled the past eighteen years with various chronic pain conditions ranging from wrist and orofacial pain to low back pain. Life has not been easy. The shape shifting pain experience began as Mika was 26 years old and at the time was leading a pioneering Internet of Things startup. Some medications provided some short-term relief but were not really a long-term option due to unbearable side effects. Mika was genuinely surprised to learn that chronic pain care at large is based on random trial and error and even that is not done efficiently.
Unsatisfied with the conventional wisdom of “you need to learn to live with your pain”, Mika digs into the science of pain. One researcher stood out as a giant in the field, a man named Vania Apkarian. The New York Times profiled Apkarian when he first discovered that chronic pain can actually change the structure of the brain. In the past 15 years, Apkarian has led every major advance in brain imaging of chronic pain. Mika arranged to meet this unique researcher and flew to Chicago. They soon began a long friendship and a plan for pain scientists to bring scientific discoveries directly to people suffering with pain.
It took some time for the science to mature so that precision care could be coupled with digital care delivery. Mika and Vania join forces, combining Vania’s scientific knowledge with Mika’s technology expertise and Aivo is born. Our mission – to build a permanent chronic pain reversal solution and deliver it at the Internet scale.
The core team is in place and ready to rock. This year Aivo will execute a proof of concept study, start a clinical trial and commercially launch the service for consumers.
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