Meet Ólafur Viggósson, CPTO of Sidekick Health and Digital Health Industry Expert


Oli Viggosson is a seasoned software architect from the gaming industry, previously holding senior management positions at gaming group CCP, the creator of the world’s largest multiplayer game EVE Online. He co-founded software development company Eskill in1999, which later merged with Nordic information technology leader Advania. He now leads product development as CPTO at Sidekick Health, a leader in digital health therapeutics for chronic disease management and treatment.


How did your Professional Journey Lead you from the Gaming Industry to the Digital Health Sector?

By coincidence, I ran into Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, now CEO & Co-Founder of Sidekick, who told me a bit about what he was planning and what his vision was for society and digital health. Just the concept of the idea, of transforming how healthcare is delivered, was enough to interest me almost immediately.

It was really small stuff at the time but I knew that I could contribute in a meaningful way. We weren’t really thinking about the business challenges or creating a sustainable business or the logistics or anything of that sort — that we knew we could figure out. There were no roadmaps, however, for what we wanted to create, but I was absolutely sure that we could do it.



What does “Gamification” in Digital Health mean to you?

Gamification has a lot of different interpretations depending on the context, but when it applies to the digital health sector, I view it as the method utilised to positively affect or influence a person’s behaviour. “Gamification” doesn’t have to strictly be a game. To me, it’s a combination of psychology, behaviour economics, data, all stirred together. But it’s also the style of communication — the advertising language, marketing, and market research — in which we translate and transmit our enthusiasm and excitement to the person on the other side, so as to positively influence their behaviour.


You often Speak about “Being an Informed Captain” which is one of Sidekick Health’s Innovation Principles. Can you tell us a bit about the Meaning behind this?

Being an informed captain is ultimately the opposite of micromanaging and puts the decision making power into the hands of the employee, the expert. It means that it’s the leadership team’s responsibility to accurately and effectively provide full context, in order for the rest of the team — i.e., the experts in their field — to make the decisions. On the flip side, it’s also the employee’s responsibility to inform themselves as much as possible via other teammates, internal research, tests, etc., in order to be the expert decision maker and oversee the execution. It’s a two-way street.


What is your Hope and Vision for the Future of Sidekick?

My hope is that Sidekick transforms how healthcare — and health, in general — is delivered, by bringing it directly into people’s homes. Whether that means making chronic illness symptoms more manageable or coach support more accessible, my hope is that we continue to develop and evolve program treatments that positively affect the people who are living with these illnesses.

Interested in joining Oli on his mission to improve healthcare? Learn more about career opportunities at Sidekick Health.