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 physicians, 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 40 years.
Today, the impossible has become the standard. In fact, 4 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”.