“It must be possible.”
This conviction has been the driving force behind HemoCue since day one. The day, over 30 years ago, when two men said it must be possible. To do this easier. To do this better. To do this right.
What the inventors, Jan Lilja and Sven-Erik Nilsson, saw as they visited labs and doctors’ offices triggered the spark that drives human invention: the ability to see possibilities where others just see problems. They saw the frustration within healthcare of having to wait to treat patients or adjust test values that were always 30-40% off. They saw the inaccuracy and dangers of limited reagent durability, shifting instrument calibration, and pipetting. The impracticality of the time it took to send samples to the lab — so troublesome that healthcare workers preferred to send the patient instead.
They saw, of course, that overcoming these problems would not only make things easier and quicker for doctors, nurses, and labs, but could also save lives. There was no doubt. It had to be done. And it had to be done right. It took time and involved much effort. After all, they were working with an exact science inside a microworld. One that had to be repeatable, yielding the same value — the right value — time after time. It was difficult and often frustrating. Seemingly at every turn, they were told, “It’s impossible.”
Yet, they never gave up. Never compromised. And achieved something remarkable — a point-of-care blood test with tolerances never before thought possible, let alone repeatable with accuracy in tens of millions of cuvettes per year.
And that was only the beginning. Their problem-solving focus and drive has been instilled in the hearts and minds of everyone in the HemoCue family since then. With a positive, open-minded atmosphere, HemoCue continues to foster a belief in possibilities and a dedication to getting it right. If there’s an issue or challenge, it’s not just an issue for one person, but for the whole company. Everyone is
interested in solving it. Because every detail matters for our customers. It’s that “can do” team spirit that has led to a continuous stream of game-changing innovations over the past 30 years.
Today, the impossible has become the standard. In fact, four HemoCue tests are performed each second worldwide. That means by the time you finish reading this, another 480 people will have the answers they need at the point of care.
Yet, we won’t rest. We always have another challenge in our sights. And we say, as they did, “It must be possible.” Because when it comes to caring for people, we refuse to compromise.
Jan Lilja, laboratory engineer, and Sven-Erik Nilsson, computer expert, of the Kristianstad Hospital Clinical Laboratory begin outlining an improved method for measuring hemoglobin.
The soundness of the method and the feasibility of microcuvette production are proven.
A license agreement with pharmaceutical company Leo is signed. Toward the end of the year, Lilja and Nilsson move into Leo's premises.
Leo begins selling and distributing the first hemoglobin photometers.
The hemoglobin system is successfully introduced on the US market. Turnover rises almost 80%.
Leo is purchased by Pharmacia.
Leo Diagnostics is bought out by the management and HemoCue® AB is formed.
Acquisition of US Distributor - HemoCue®, Inc. is founded.
The glucose system, based on the same principles as the hemoglobin system, is introduced to the market.
HemoCue® finds a new owner: Mallinckrodt Inc of Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
The first HemoCue® School takes place in Norrköping, Sweden.
HemoCue® is acquired by EQT, a private equity group in northern Europe. Annual turnover exceeds $40 million.
A new system, HemoCue® Plasma/Low Hb system, is introduces. The system is used to determination of low hemoglobin levels in plasma, serum and aqueous solutions.
HemoCue® Donor Hb Checker, a system for measuring hemoglobin in blood donors, is introduced.
The 201 system for glucose is introduced.
By introducing a Urine Albumin analyzer for detecting microalbuminuria, HemoCue® enters yet another significant testing area.
The 201 system for glucose is followed by a 201+ system for both glucose and hemoglobin making it possible to store test and QC results in the analyzer.
HemoCue® makes extensive investments in production technology, R&D, sales and marketing.
Acquisition of Biotest. Distribution agreements with McKesson and PSS.
HemoCue® Hb 201 and Gl 201 Data Management systems are launched in Europe.
Market introduction of HemoCue® (Home Glucose).
Market introduction of HemoCue® Albumin 201, HemoCue® Hb 301 and HemoCue® Glucose 201 RT.
HemoCue® is acquired by Quest Diagnostics (www.questdiagnostics.com) a leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services.
Market introduction of HemoCue® WBC, a system for determination of total white blood cell count.
HemoCue® Albumin 201 system receives first FDA CLIA waiver in diagnostics industry for quantitative Point-of-Care test for Microalbuminuria.
HemoCue® WBC DIFF is introduced. A system that provides a quantitative determination of white blood cells with a five part differential count of neutrophils, lymfocytes, monocytes, eosinphils and basophils.