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Mikael Mattsson


Tel +46 70 279 16 22

E-post mikael.mattsson@ri.se

Ort Kista

Enhet Digital hälsa (102506)

ORCID 0000-0002-0642-4838

Expert Digital Health, with special knowledge in Precision Health, Exercise Physiology. Endurance Training, Exercise and the Heart, Sports Genetics, Mobile Health, and Exercise Analytics.

Implementing digital tools in health care and the everyday lives of the general population is one of the most pressing and interesting challenges today. RISE has a wide variety of expertise from computational to motivational, and my expertise in exercise physiology, practical training and exercise regimes, and experiences from the tech industry is a relevant contribution to that mix.
In my role as an expert, I divide my time between policy work, contributing to consortium grant applications, and giving lectures and presentations. The work is of highly collaborative character, positioned in between researchers and practitioners, both in Sweden and in Europe.

Additional affiliations to Karolinska Insitutet and Stanford University, as well as Silicon Valley Exercise Analytics.

In the broad sense, my research interest is to find out how the body works and reacts in different sports and work physiology contexts, especially variations in individual responses.
My thesis (Karolinska) and early research articles were about ultra-endurance exercise, and how it is at all possible to compete continuously during several days (Adventure Racing). A wide range of physiological issues and questions about nutrition have already been dealt with, but the project is ongoing and deepened and developed. Right now for example, work on the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs on performance, injury, training effect and recovery. The research area has expanded to also include ultra-running and military activities, with special emphasis on nutrition.
The thesis focused on the effects on the heart and central circulation, and from there the natural step is to deal with the training of the heart and circulation, i.e. cardio, and questions about how it can be optimized, whether it be for someone who is untrained and wants to get started, or for the elite athlete who needs to improve to win the championship gold. A large part of the optimization is personalized training and nutrition, and we have started to develop a system of different profiles/types of people that for optimal effect should train differently.
In addition to the endurance sports, I have a research interest in team sports, such as team handball, and more accurate optimization training for handball performance. Handball requires a mix of physical abilities, which means that it is not optimal to exercise all at the same time and that it is impossible for a player to be "best of everything". Different studies focus on, for example, to identify the physiological demands of match play in different divisions and then work to evaluate the appropriate test methods and training plans, both before and during the season.

The research interest of personalization leads to genetics and a big project about the athlete's genome. I’m the managing investigator of the project called ELITE (Exercise at the Limit – Inherited Traits of Endurance) at Stanford University. It's a study about sports genetics, with the aim to characterize the genetic determinants of human performance by studying the extreme of the distribution. Simply put, we are looking for the fittest people in the world, and try to understand what makes them great. It is an international collaboration, lead from Stanford University, and we are recruiting athletes from all over the globe (including Scandinavia, USA, UK, Spain, Japan, and Brazil) who are successful in endurance sports (such as running, cross-country skiing, triathlon, cycling, rowing).
Another project is research about activity monitors and fitness trackers, basically evaluating how accurate they are and trying to incorporate the use of them in medical research.

In an effort to tie together the knowledge from 20+ years as a trainer and coach for sport and exercise with the knowledge from 14 years in scientific research centered around exercise physiology, and the experiences concerning data sciences after spending more than five years in Silicon Valley, we started Silicon Valley Exercise Analytics (SVExA). The aim is to be a decision aid for coaches in the quest for optimized training, performance and recovery. SVExA’s software provides a unique integration of sports training load and recovery data with biological profiles. Our holistic analytical and AI approach consolidates the myriad data points from elite athletes into real-time, individualized readiness metrics, so professional teams can optimize their training regimes and keep the athletes on the field. Initially, the product targets professional team sports clubs but the aim is to expand to first individual athletes and thereafter to the public.

Combined, my research at both universities, RISE and SVExA is about optimization and individualization of exercise and physical training.