Professor Vesa Kiviniemi among Top 10 health influencers in Mediuutiset 2023 ranking
Kiviniemi plays a pivotal role in the implementation of the FUS Lifu device, colloquially known as the "braincleaner," at the University of Oulu and the Oulu University Hospital. The FUS device, based on targeted ultrasound, can temporarily open the brain's blood-brain barrier, allowing drugs to reach specific targets. Simultaneously, there is an increase in the flushing of brain waste products.
This technology is unique in the Nordic countries. With the acquisition of the FUS device, Oulu is becoming a leading international center for research related to blood-brain barrier opening.
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Mediuutiset unveiled its list of one hundred health influencers on Tuesday, December 12.
The selections are made by the editorial team at Mediuutiset, covering influencers in ten different categories. The criteria for selection include significant contributions to the health sector during the past year.
In the category of "Promoters of Collaboration," Professor of the University of Oulu and Chief Physicist at Oulu University Hospital, Miika Nieminen, is mentioned. Nieminen and his colleagues are developing a novel, easily transportable, and cost-effective cone-beam computed tomography for the dental and head areas, which can be brought closer to the patient in areas with long distances, while the doctor remains in another location. The Tomohead project involves multiple research teams, Pohde, and a large number of Finnish health technology companies.
In the "Long-term Commitment" category, Professor of the University of Oulu and Rehabilitation Director of the South Karelia Welfare Area, Jaro Karppinen, is mentioned. He chairs the update of the evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of lower back pain, a process initiated in 2023 after a six-year hiatus. The guidelines will likely address, among other things, the use of paracetamol in the treatment of back pain, applying proven back pain guides, and for the first time, involving a patient representative in drafting the recommendations. Karppinen conducts diverse research, including on risk factors for chronic pain.
In the "Doctoral Dissertations of the Year" category, Jyri-Johan Paakki and Petra Tjurin, who completed their dissertations at the University of Oulu, are mentioned. Paakki's dissertation identified brain networks using independent component analysis (ICA). The research provided insights into the functional changes in the brains behind autism and helps understand treatment possibilities. According to the findings, analyses of brain networks grouped into similar short-duration activation phases should be developed. This new information can aid in the development of early and precise imaging diagnostics, targeted interventions in the appropriate brain networks, and the assessment and monitoring of their effects.
Petra Tjurin's dissertation provided information on the underlying causes of metabolic diseases and reinforced treatment recommendations. According to the dissertation, prolonged sedentary time in middle-aged individuals was associated with impaired lipid metabolism. The study also developed a new machine learning-based method that could better distinguish sedentary behavior from movement in the signal produced by an activity monitor.
Read more: Mediuutiset once again selects 100 Influencers in the Health Sector (in Finnish)