‘We are working in an industry that is coming to reality as we speak’

'We are working in an industry that is coming to reality as we speak'
Lorenzo Consoli, CEO of NuvoAir. Photo: Lorenzo Consoli/NuvoAir
MY SWEDISH CAREER: Over the past three years, Lorenzo Consoli has been learning how to navigate Sweden's startup world, while setting up a business which he hopes will help the half a billion people around the globe suffering from respiratory conditions.

“I think technology can give doctors superpowers,” the Italian-born CEO tells The Local.

“Doctors can focus on the most critical patients and spend more time with those patients while de-prioritizing those that are coping with their condition.” 

His own experience growing up with asthma inspired him to work with respiratory conditions, and several years of working in the pharmaceutical industry gave him the tools to start his own company, NuvoAir. Founded in 2016, the startup produces respiratory diagnostic spirometers to help people monitor their lung health at home. 

“In the last two years, I worked in the digital health division of the [pharmaceutical] company. In that role, I had the opportunity to look at a lot of startups in the respiratory space. The objective was to look at how you could innovate beyond the pill. How can we deliver a service beyond the drug? What other services could we build on top?” Consoli explains. 

“I had the opportunity to work with a brilliant design agency in Stockholm which had conceptualized the first version of the device you see today at NuvoAir. “I fell in love with the product, I wanted to go back to my roots and I was very connected to respiratory health for many reasons. I felt the stars were aligned.”  

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It was because of the product that Lorenzo Consoli decided to take a giant step in his career and move to Stockholm to start his company. 

But following the launch, he found he had several challenges to deal with, not least the task of settling into a new country and working culture.

“Moving from Basel to Stockholm with the family was not easy, as my son was just born. Working very intensely, as it happens in a startup, under those conditions was hard,” he recalls.

On the business side, Consoli also had to spend time building up a professional network from scratch in Sweden, while still facing the usual obstacles in setting up a company such as recruiting and sourcing funding. 

The NuvoAir Team. Photo: Lorenzo Consoli/NuvoAir  

He views the company's journey as still in progress.

“I think we are far from calling it a successful startup. It’s true that we have received some funding and we have some traction but we are at the beginning of the journey,” Consoli says.

NuvoAir works with clinical trials, diagnostic and digital therapeutics, and he describes the company as “vertically integrated”, meaning hardware, software and algorithms are all developed in house.

But what sets Lorenzo Consoli apart as a leader? To him, that’s a harder question.

“We should ask the team,” he insists, but with some prodding he shares some of the characteristics he believes have helped him get this far.

“I think I am humble. It feels normal for me to say openly when I don’t know something because it pushes me to figure things out and constantly improve,” says Consoli. “I am genuinely an enthusiastic person and enthusiasm can be contagious. If you are enthusiastic about what you are doing there is a good chance that the people around you inevitably will be too.”

The Italian tells The Local that he feels inspired by the services his company is able to provide, and the leaps of progress taking place in the field.

“We are working in an industry that is coming to reality as we speak. And from my perspective, it’s quite inspiring to be part of a journey that is shaping an industry,” says Consoli.

“It’s also very inspiring sharing customers’ stories because the team can see the impact of their work in a direct way. Making an impact, receiving emails from customers thanking you because of the product that you provided, it’s really motivating.” 

Besides being able to help people and hear about the difference the products makes, Consoli is also motivated by the technology itself and says he believes that advances in tech will continue to change how healthcare works. 

“Technology and AI are bringing a paradigm shift to healthcare,” he explains. “As more data is collected AI can be applied…  I think technology can play a key role specifically where lifestyle changes are needed to improve the condition. This is certainly true in many chronic conditions including respiratory conditions.” 

A NuvoAir spirometer. Photo: Lorenzo Consoli/NuvoAir

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