About Us

Supporting People Living With a Chronic Disease, to Live Life to Its Fullest.

bridging a gap

Bridging a Gap

It is 2017. Yet another conference on how to digitize health care for the benefit of all parties. The scientific community, researchers and professors, as well as the health-care professionals express their desire for shared knowledge to improve the well-being of patients living with a chronic disease. But there is one seat missing on the podium, the patient’s.

Meanwhile, the people living with chronic disease are vocal in patient organizations, on social media and in the health-care debate. They wish to learn more and take part in the discussion. For a long time the knowledge about medical treatment and science has been hard to access for the individual person. It has been a challenge to get a holistic view of it, and also to influence it. Is it finally time to change all this?

It turns out, it is.

by coming together

By Coming Together

At this juncture a team of experts from various disciplines, and people with personal experience of living with chronic disease came together to try and bridge this gap. The scientific researchers welcomed insights from people diagnosed with chronic disease. Health-care providers and the pharma industry agreed that great knowledge would be gained by understanding how people feel and act between hospital visits, in their actual everyday lives.

elsa science was born

Elsa Science Was Born 

Elsa Science is a platform with a mission to strengthen all sides by finding, and following up on, the right treatment to the right patient. Through powerful and science-based motivational and educational support, the platform brings individuals, families, patient organizations, health-care providers, pharma companies and scientists closer together for a greater good – to learn from each other and support individuals diagnosed with chronic disease to live life to its fullest.

Through meaningful content and design, we aim to make science accessible and put it in the hands of the people living with a chronic disease. And through data sharing, individuals can invite the scientific and health-care community to draw experience from their real world.

Starting With Rheumatic Diseases 

Initially we are focusing on rheumatic diseases. According to EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism), rheumatic diseases affect more individuals than any other disease group in the industrialized world. They state that a third of people of all ages are affected at some point during their lifetime. Furthermore, they describe a situation in Europe where almost every family is affected in some way by a rheumatic disease.


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is one of the most common forms of rheumatic disease. RA affects people all over the world, although it is more common in women than in men. Almost 20 million people worldwide were living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2017, with over a million new cases diagnosed each year, according to estimates from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study. The true number of people suffering is not fully known since many people don’t seek treatment until their symptoms become severe.

The disease is more common in northern Europe and North America, with an estimated prevalence of 0.5 to 1.0% [1,2], but less common in southern Europe and some developing countries.

Rheumatoid Arthritis generally results in a poorer quality of life [3]. This is something we strive to challenge and improve through research, education and motivational support.

The Elsa Digital Companion Application is developed to support people diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis to reach a new normal faster and live life to its fullest. Users can track and follow up on symptoms, habits and medications to better understand how these correlate. After setting up a personal plan, Elsa will guide the user through everyday life. With software-driven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy interventions we have designed health programs, endorsed by health-care professionals. The programs offer support  with self-management techniques to better cope with the illness.

The Power of Co-creation

Our design oriented development process is empowered by a user-first mind-set. The individuals diagnosed with a chronic disease, are holding the crucial and useful insights needed to create powerful tools. Their needs and requests guide us going forward. We also always include many other important co-creators such as patient advisory boards, patient organizations, specialized doctors and health-care practitioners, scientists, industry professionals etc.


Our goal is to make the latest research available to people with a chronic disease in an educational and useful way. For example, by highlighting facts explaining how different habits can improve the individual’s everyday life. To facilitate behavioral change and the coping needed when diagnosed with a chronic disease, we are collaborating with behavioral change science professionals to incorporate cognitive behavioral techniques into the tools.

In order to create tools based on science and the latest research, we are also proudly collaborating with several research institutions in Europe, such as the Karolinska Institute, Uppsala University and Linköping University, Leiden University as well as other Nordic and European institutions.


  1. Myasoedova E, Crowson CS, Kremers HM, Therneau TM, Gabriel SE. Is the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis rising?: results from Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1955-2007. Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Jun;62(6):1576-82

  2. Hunter TM, Boytsov NN, Zhang X, Schroeder K, Michaud K, Araujo AB. Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in the United States adult population in healthcare claims databases, 2004-2014. Rheumatol Int. 2017;37(9):1551. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

  3. Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register, report 2016

  4. Eriksson JK et al. Costs for hospital care, drugs and lost work days in incident and prevalent rheumatoid arthritis: how large, and how are they distributed? Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Apr;74(4):648-54.

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The Team

Adam Gardefjord

UX Designer

Annika Norén

Design Strategist

Ariel Cicero


Barbara Bislawska Axnäs

Head of Strategic Partnerships

Charlotte Wikström

Product Manager

Hanna Blyckert

Health Educator

Isa Ericsson

Product Analyst Lead

Johan Gustafson


Kienan Clute

Head of Customer Success

Lina Enqvist

Head of People & Culture

Linda Carling Pitsavos

Head of Growth

Marcy Sande


Marta Lason

Business Developer

Matilda Mitchell


Monique Castro


Ollanta Cuba Gyllensten

Data Engineer

Olle Strömdahl

Art Director & UX Designer

Oscar Norberg

Head of QA/RA

Pelle Frank

Co-founder & CTO

Pernilla Cuno

Office Manager & Controller

Sandy Jones

US Business Lead

Sebastian Evans

Co-founder & Head of Visual Design

Sofia Nordh

Medical Expert

Sofia Svanteson

Co-founder & CEO

Sonja Petrović Lundberg


Tor Bruce

Developer & UX Designer


Office dog


Office dog


Office dog


Office dog

Co-founders & Advisors

Lars Klareskog

Co-founder & Professor of Rheumatology at Karolinska Institutet

Lars Alfredsson

Co-founder & Professor of Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet

Lovisa Afzelius

Co-founder och Chairman of the board

Erik Byrenius


Leo Giertz


Patient Advisory Board

Hanna Svensson

Jenny Christensson

Kerstin Grentzelius

Mats Griph

Monica Persson