FIBION STORY

About Fibion. The Professional Sitting and Activity Analysis.

A blue background with the words our story.

The story of Fibion started from our passion to make sitting and activity measurement a credible, evidence-based tool for professionals.

The participants in our research projects were amazed when they saw the results of the accurate activity measurements. Our findings showed that people were spending the majority of their days sitting without even thinking about it. However, the evidence-based results motivated them to change their behaviour in an active, healthier direction.

A black and white photo of a man with curly hair.
Arto Pesola

We decided that this concept needed to be taken out of the laboratory to coaches who wanted to provide their customers with an easy, yet evidence-based and effective step toward healthy sitting and activity habits. This is the story of Fibion. Our mission to help people to help people.

A man sitting at a desk.

From the start..

Fibion has become not only the first, but also the most accurate and the easiest to use commercial professional level analysis tool available. It requires no prior training and cost the same as inaccurate consumer gadgets. Even your customer will understand the science of our visual reports.

To proudly summarise, Fibion is based on five break-through innovations.

Firstly the secret sauce is the advanced analysis algorithms to process the recorded data. The Fibion algorithms are based on our scientific research and hundreds of scientific research papers.
Secondly the analysis results and related recommendations are visualised and presented in an understandable way. We know because we asked people.
Thirdly Fibion is the first sitting and physical activity analysis report designed from the beginning for professional feedback and consultation – even group consultation.
Fourthly because the Fibion Device is worn next to the thigh, it can very accurately analyse different activities and their energy expenditure based on the movement of the thigh with almost perfect accuracy. Thus, the Fibion analysis gives more accurate results with a week-long measurement, than the consumer trackers are able to provide in habitual use.
Fifthly Fibion is easy to use. It does not have buttons or settings. Starting a measurement with Fibion takes less than a minute without collecting any background information from the person. The efficient customer process is thought-out for customer delivery; Fibion even includes an equipment pouch for the necessary gear.

..to the goal.

Fibion has become not only the first, but also the most accurate and the easiest to use commercial professional level analysis tool available. It requires no prior training and cost the same as inaccurate consumer gadgets. Even your customer will understand the science of our visual reports.

A phone screen showing a number of people on a map.

Fibion is the InBody of activity measurement – the golden standard that you can trust.

The key combination accurate health data and professional consultation

It all started with our determination to get people out of their chairs

Several years ago, when the health hazards of sitting gained support from initial findings, we were launching our first research projects to quantify the sitting and physical activity habits of people with muscle activity measurement.

The test subjects were invited to our lab in the university. They were hooked up to big machines and put through many hours of scrutiny in order to collect the research data. These pioneer projects gave us a solid standpoint from which to develop the science and practise of our sitting and physical activity measurement.

 

A person standing on top of a floor mat.

As a part of these projects, we were giving interested people feedback about their everyday sitting and activity habits. People were amazed and scared when they saw the truth based on the accurate activity measurements: they were spending the majority of their days sitting without even thinking about it.

Yet, at the same time, the evidence-based results motivated them to change their behaviour toward living a more active lifestyle. As the project results pointed out, the key to the behaviour change was the combination of the accurately recorded data and the professional consultation regarding what the measurement actually revealed.

The opportunity to help masses of people presented itself

As a part of these projects, we were giving interested people feedback about their everyday sitting and activity habits. People were amazed and scared when they saw the truth based on the accurate activity measurements: they were spending the majority of their days sitting without even thinking about it.

Yet, at the same time, the evidence-based results motivated them to change their behaviour toward living a more active lifestyle. As the project results pointed out, the key to the behaviour change was the combination of the accurately recorded data and the professional consultation regarding what the measurement actually revealed.

A white box with the word aflon sitting on top of it.

68.6%

overweight or obese in America

1/3

could have diabetes by 2050

$210b

in obesity healthcare costs

Read more: stateofobesity.org

How to fit a lab into your pocket and other challenges to be tackled

This is the scientifically proven way how professionals will be able to encourage and motivate their customers away from a health damaging behavior, as we did with our research subjects.

A man is holding a small device in his pocket.

We need to take our experiences and the analysis out of laboratory

Even if the analysis methodology proved itself, it involved cumbersome laboratory equipment, purpose-built scientific devices, and analysis software developed only for the researchers in the project. To operate this equipment, you were required to be a trained scientist, which we cannot require from everybody, can we?
A black and white photo of a man smiling.
Olli Tikkanen

Additionally, the measurement setting required tedious preparations and it was not overly reliable. Yet, along the way, the measurement process and the consultation feedback was iterated and improved in numerous incremental steps. We knew first hand that the whole process needed to be as easy and fluent as possible.

 

18 months

of additional R&D followed

Fibion was born and available for professionals in our online store in 2015. During the years of research and development, we collected and studied physical activity data from a great number of participants. We learned the hard way that every detail in the process needed to be in place.

Consequently, in Fibion, the smallest detail was considered, including everything to make the three-step experience – measurement, analysis, consulting – as easy and efficient as possible.

measurement analysis consulting

Sometimes innovations can be as simple as an equipment pouch that keeps everything in place and ensures that a small user guide will always be with your customer and that the personal background information form will never get lost. The pouch looks nice and is professional, too! Coaches can serve big groups of customers alone without collecting any personal background information beforehand, like weight and height: just hand out Fibion pouches.

When the measurements and pouches are returned, the coach can run an analysis immediately and provide combined feedback to groups, such as at work places, while handing the personal reports of all interested parties. The coach decides how much time to spend on feedback and consultation (15 minutes to an hour), while the entire customer process –through the report phase – can be done in less than five minutes.

A blue mesh pouch on a black background.

We brought the science with us. The magic happens in our analysis algorithms.

Our secret sauce lies deep inside our cloud service. This is where the fruit of the years-long scientific research is located. The collected raw data is sent to our online service, where the data is crunched into visualised and portable reports. Internet technology and computer farms ensure that the reports are generated instantly.

Miriam
Miriam Cabrita

To make sure our algorithms provide the latest knowledge for your coaching, we have collected data from hundreds of research papers and translated them for your benefit. We do our best to crystallise and visualise the collected information into attractive and understandable reports so that it is easy for the coach to convince his or her customers of the importance of everyday activities.

How do you replace expensive and difficult-to-use laboratory equipment?

The Fibion Device is based on a commonplace 3D accelerometer. This means that the device measures acceleration in three dimensions. However, the Fibion Device is significantly different from its competitors in several ways. It is very small and lightweight, and does not have any buttons. The Device is worn simply in the front pocket of the trousers. Fibion comes with a thigh strap so it can be worn even without a pocket.

It is not what you wear, but how you wear it

Based on the movement and position of the thigh, the Fibion Device is capable of detecting a set of body postures and movements that are difficult to detect otherwise, including sitting, standing, and cycling. In these activities, a device worn around the wrist or waist is very inaccurate, as the position of the device is similar during these activities, like working at a desk.

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Almost Perfect

In our own validity testing, we tested the ability of Fibion to classify several different sitting, standing, walking, cycling, and running activities in 12 different subjects.

Fibion classified the activity type correctly in 92.8% and 97.0% of the recorded time when worn in the pocket and on the thigh strap, respectively.

This result was very high, given that the inaccuracy of wrist-worn devices in measuring daily light intensity activities may result in very raw estimates of true activity time, if they can measure the activity difference at all.

A set of colorful icons on a white background.

For example, a wrist-worn device cannot recognize between sitting and standing next to a standing work desk.

THEN

Validation Testing

TASK: Classify Activity by type

92.8% accuracy in pocket

97.0% accuracy with strap

Read more: stateofobesity.org

NEXT

Estimating Energy Expenditure

Market Leader
36.7% off
Fibion
1.6% off

as compared to heart rate

THEN

Validation Testing

TASK: Classify Activity by type

92.8% accuracy in pocket

97.0% accuracy with strap

Read more: stateofobesity.org

We also compared Fibion to Actigraph in their ability to estimate energy expenditure using the heart rate as a reference method. The Actigraph is the most common device used in scientific research.

We found that, during simulated walking, running, and cycling activities with 19 subjects, Fibion underestimated energy expenditure by 1.6% as compared to heart rate. However, the Actigraph underestimated energy expenditure by 36.7%.

Thus, Fibion appeared to be more accurate than the Actigraph, which currently is the most widely utilised device in scientific physical activity research.

Validation Test Results

Fibion is to be worn for seven days during waking hours. This suggestion is based on scientific findings where a seven-day measurement tells about your sitting habits with 88% reliability. In other words, if you repeat the measurement the next week, the result is the same with 88% probability.

An image of a group of people on a white background.

Additionally, with Fibion, the consumer has access to a professional who can explain the results and the recommendations based on the results, whereas consumer devices leave the user alone to guess what the diagrams actually mean regarding health.

A blue logo with the word fibon.

Our journey to help people to help people.

Fibion Inc. is focused on developing and selling products and services for assessment of physical inactivity and activity. Our customers are advanced personal trainers, fitness, wellness, and rehabilitation centers, occupational healthcare providers, and weight management consultants, and other professionals interested in accurate monitoring of everyday health impacts.

Mission: Get People Standing.

Our end-customers are individuals and organisations interested in improving health and wellbeing by changing inactivity and everyday activity behaviours. The flagship product of the company is Fibion, a novel tool for personal trainers and other health and fitness professionals to assess the everyday sitting and physical activity routines of their customers.

Fibion Team

Peer Production.

Specialists who have a broad knowledge of their respective fields and various talents share these qualities with each other and create something new together.

Background.

As a spin-off from awarded scientific research, Fibion Inc. has a strong R&D team comprising of experts in different fields of science and technology, such as information technology, data visualisation, exercise physiology, internet media, inactivity physiology, usability, biomechanics, and medical technology.

Three men standing together holding a tablet computer.

The background of the core Fibion team is in the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä. The results of the team have attracted national and worldwide attention in different media. The core Fibion team is three people: Olli Tikkanen (from left), Tommo Reti, and Arto Pesola. They also form the Board of Directors and the management team of the Fibion Inc.

More About Us.

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Olli Tikkanen

Partner PhD in Sport Sciences

Dr Olli Tikkanen holds a PhD degree in Sport Sciences from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His ground-breaking doctoral thesis, “Physiological loading during normal daily life and exercise assessed with electromyography”, is one of the corner stones of the scientific research at Fibion Inc. He has been involved in several international research groups over the time span of 10 years.

Olli has also been a teacher and a member of the performance testing personnel at the Sports Institute Pajulahti. He has extensive knowledge of the health industry from working as Product Manager for Mega Electronics Ltd for several years. Prior joining Fibion Inc., Olli was Regional Manager in Korea and China and he has given lectures, demonstrations, and conferences in over 20 different countries.

Leading to the Fibion innovation, Tikkanen was awarded Honourable Mention in the European Athletics Innovation Awards, the 2nd place in Kasvu Open startup competition, and the 1st place in ‘Fly Your Idea’ innovation competition in 2012.

Tommo Reti

Partner DSc in Internet Media Technology and Business

Dr Tommo Reti holds the degree of Doctor of Science (Tech.) in Internet Media Technology and Business. He is international serial enterpreneur, awarded project leader, and scientist. Dr Reti has founded companies in Finland, California, and Washington state. He has been visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley, CA, USA, and the CERN, Switzerland. He invented the Digital Content Distribution Management System, which won the title ”The Best e-Business Application in Finland” in 2004.

As project leader at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, his research project was awarded as the most professionally managed R&D project among over 60 projects in the related Swedish governmental science program in 2008-2010. He has been involved as principal investigator and coordinator in several EU projects. When not being a passionate entrepreneur, Dr Reti is principal scientist and the chairman of the non-profit Research and Training Institute ReTI Foundation.

A black and white photo of a man with curly hair.

Arto Pesola

Partner PhD in Exercise Physiology

Dr Arto Pesola has a PhD degree in Exercise Physiology from the Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä. His field of science is the causality of reduced muscle inactivity time on health outcomes in an RCT setting. Arto has been a highly visible expert in Finnish national TV and radio channels giving expert opinions on health hazards of sedentariness and on promotion of everyday physical activity.

In addition to being lecturer at the biggest personal trainer educator in Finland, Trainer4You Ltd, he has been keynote speaker in several conferences and company events. His main expertise is inactivity physiology. Arto has authored a popular book about everyday activity which has gained popularity and success in Finland. The book has recently been translated for distribution in the Netherlands and elsewhere internationally.

Invited by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Arto was an expert member in the committee formulating national recommendations for reducing sitting and sedentary lifestyle in Finland in 2015. (Naturally, Fibion was the first commercial product to implement the new recommendations!)