- 42 employees
- SEK 74 million in revenue
Figures refers to fiscal year 2022/2023.
The Group incubator
Business Innovation is the Group’s primary incubator. This includes business units, research operations and future projects that, in their current phases, can benefit from being pursued in an incubator environment or that do not easily fit into any of our existing operating areas. The latter may be because the products and services are intended for a customer segment that we are not currently targeting. In Business Innovation, there are currently only medical technology projects and operations, but this may be expanded to include projects in other areas in the future.
The long-term ambitions for Business Innovation are to:
- contribute to better care for patients by solving difficult and important problems encountered by Sectra’s customers
- commercialize new technology, validate clinical benefits or pursue projects that could lead to new and innovative solutions that add value for customers in Sectra’s niche areas
- give smaller operations and business units the best conditions to develop and grow
- build and manage a strong patent portfolio in Sectra’s key areas
- develop business models for new products and services
The research department’s roles are to support Sectra’s established areas and to evaluate and conduct long-term, high-risk projects that can result in business within three to ten years.
Some projects soar while others fade away
Sound scientific and medical evidence is essential in healthcare. Implementing new technologies and methods is often a protracted process and associated with high risk. As a result, some research and other early-phase projects will never grow to any major degree.
In some cases, operations in Business Innovation are already profitable business units with existing customers that need to grow further. In the long term, the business units and projects are to be managed in one of the following ways:
- become a separate operating area
- incorporate the unit into an existing operating area. This occurred, for example, when digital pathology was transferred to Imaging IT Solutions in 2014, due to the major synergies identified
- discontinue if the unit does not offer sufficient potential. This occurred, for example, with the osteoporosis business unit in 2017/2018
- spin off as an independent company or be sold to an external party if this proves to be the best solution from a financial standpoint. This occurred, for example, with the business unit for low-dose mammography products, which was divested in 2011 and the sale of patents in 2015.
Safer surgery using digital planning
Joint replacement surgery is by far the largest segment within orthopaedics and is responsible for more than one third of all revenue in the orthopaedics market. The segment is also expected to rise sharply due to the aging population. In addition, several million surgeries are performed globally every year due to fractures caused by accidents, falls and activity-related injuries. To meet the growing need for better, more efficient care related to these kinds of surgical procedures, Sectra offers IT systems for image-based planning and follow-up of orthopaedic surgery.
For healthcare providers, increased precision in diagnosis, planning and monitoring leads to reduced costs, since the operating time is shortened while the number of implants to be prepared before every surgery is reduced. For the patient, shorter operating times reduce the risk of postoperative infections and other complications. An accurate diagnosis before surgery also reduces the risk of unnecessary and risky surgery, such as revision surgery in the case of a suspected loose implant.
Sectra’s orthopaedics offering also includes tools that improve and simplify work for radiologists who specialize in the musculoskeletal system (musculoskeletal radiology). These tools allow radiologists to perform otherwise difficult and time-consuming measurements more quickly and efficiently. In addition, the ability for orthopaedic surgeons and radiologists to work together in the same system also saves additional time, with faster diagnoses as a result.
Furthermore, our solutions also contribute to simplifying and streamlining the proof-of-concept process for new implants. Sectra’s service now makes it possible to use computer tomography to measure movement between the implant and bone in an entirely new way. Scientists and implant manufacturers are thus able to increase the quality and long-term survival rates of new implants, which is of the utmost importance for patient security.
The way forward
The business unit’s ambition is to contribute to improved orthopaedic preoperative planning and postoperative follow-up through the development and sale of services and software for image-based orthopaedic planning and follow-up. This is how we can help our customers provide better, more cost-efficient care to patients.
- primarily growing in those parts of Europe and North America where the business unit has an in-house sales organization and where Sectra already has an established customer base
- sales to larger customers with a significant orthopaedic department, who thus have a need for our entire product portfolio
- ongoing development of our musculoskeletal radiology offering
- gathering evidence and disseminating knowledge of our products and services via clinical studies.
Customers and sales channels
The business unit’s customers are private and public orthopaedic clinics as well as manufacturers of prosthetics and implants. Sales take place through an in-house sales organization, distribution partners and as part of Sectra Imaging IT Solutions’ customer offerings.
Sectra is currently the market leader in preoperative planning of orthopaedic procedures in Scandinavia. We also command a strong market position in several other countries, including the Netherlands and the UK, and have a growing customer base in the US.
Cloud-based training platforms for reality-based learning
A growing need for care, continued personnel shortages and an explosive increase in medical knowledge are creating challenges when it comes to training healthcare personnel effectively. Managing these challenges requires new ways of working, new tools and increased investments in the type of service that Sectra offers in medical education. We enable effective and continual learning through digital tools and actual patient cases in Sectra Education Portal, our cloud-based education portal.
Using medical images and Sectra’s advanced visualization tools for learning makes it possible to base the user’s understanding on real clinical scenarios. This makes learning more efficient at all levels, all the way from basic knowledge for students to advanced professional development for specialists and other qualified healthcare personnel. The education portal is available at any time, anywhere—in hospitals, universities or at home—and it allows students and healthcare personnel to take control of their own learning.
In addition to Sectra Education Portal, we also offer training terminals—Sectra’s visualization table 8, for example—that are adapted to training in the classroom or lecture hall.
The way forward
Our ambition is to help our customers to improve and streamline medical education, by continually developing and selling our cloud-based education portal so that more people are able to take advantage of reality-based learning, as well as to facilitate lifelong learning for healthcare personnel.
- continuing to expand existing customers’ usage in order to help them maximize the value of the portal
- increasing sales and the number of subscribers, focusing primarily on Europe and North America
- developing our education portal to enable increasing usage.
Customers and sales channels
The business unit’s customers are educational institutions and hospitals offering basic and specialist medical or veterinary studies, either privately or publicly. Sales mainly take place through an international network of distribution partners. Sales may also take place as part of Sectra Imaging IT Solutions’ customer offerings in certain markets, or directly to customers in selected countries such as Sweden.
Sectra’s cloud-based solution with advanced visualization tools that is used in medical diagnostics, combined with a broad library of actual patient cases, is a unique offering for medical learning at all levels. Our customers can be found in more than 50 countries, and include many of the world’s leading educational institutions and hospitals.
New initiative adds value to personalized medicine and cancer care
It is becoming increasingly crucial to be able to predict how each individual patient will react to a treatment, particularly in cancer care. This is called precision medicine, an area where personalized treatment can be further improved by combining radiology and pathology with an analysis of genetic information. This type of analysis is called genomics. In 2022, Sectra added a new business unit, Genomics IT, due to the increasing importance of genomics in medical diagnostics. The area, which is related to pathology, is growing rapidly in cancer diagnostics.
In order to take advantage of the benefits of personalized medicine, healthcare providers need to not only manage the growing quantity of patient data, but also cooperate between multiple specialties and receive support for new diagnostic workflows. This is an area where we see continued opportunities for Sectra to drive innovation and product development in order to create significant customer value. By combining medical imaging IT for radiology and pathology with IT support for genomics, we are helping to develop the diagnostics of the future. This is a long-term development project, and the situation is similar to when we launched development of our digital pathology product in Business Innovation as an expansion of radiology.
Innovation for sustainable growth
The research department conducts and participates in projects to provide scientific support for existing technology as well as to create new products—all in an effort to boost the company’s long-term business value. Two of the people who work at the department divide their positions between Sectra and Linköping University, where the research is primarily performed in cooperation with the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Sectra is currently involved in approximately ten research projects, including projects in the fields of digital pathology and genomics. Previous projects have resulted in expansions and improvements to our product offering.
Progress in data-intensive diagnostics
An overarching theme for the initiatives in the research department is data-intensive diagnostics that support healthcare’s development towards precision medicine. One area Sectra is studying is the decision support that will be needed for the healthcare sector’s diagnostic analyses in genomics, known as variant interpretation.
Sectra also contributes research in diagnostic imaging so that AI can move from the laboratory to clinical reality. Sectra is one of the main participants in the Vinnova-funded project AIDA, which serves as a national arena for research into AI for medical image analysis, with the aim of leveraging the full benefits of AI-based tools in the healthcare sector.
Sectra is also participating in the large scale Swedish AI initiative WASP (Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program). Within pathology, the multiyear Bigpicture EU project (under the Innovative Medicines Initiative) continued, with the aim of developing the largest ever database of pathology images to be used for research and innovation in AI. Sectra’s contribution will accelerate the development of improved diagnostic methods based on AI and support collaborative efforts between healthcare and research.
General Manager Orthopaedics business unit
General Manager Medical Education business unit
General Manager Genomics IT business unit
Research Director Medical systems