Operating area

Business Innovation

Business Innovation includes the Orthopaedics and Medical Education business units as well as Sectra’s research department. Business Innovation also manages and develops Sectra’s patent portfolio.

Quick facts

Figures refers to fiscal year 2019/2020.

  • 37 emplyees
  • SEK 78.1 million in revenue

Customers

The Orthopaedics business unit is aimed at private and public orthopaedic clinics as well as suppliers of prosthetics and implants. The operations in Medical Education focus on educational institutions and hospitals offering basic and specialist medical or veterinary studies, either privately or publicly.

Sales channels

Own sales organization and distribution partners within Orthopaedics. Some 40 distribution partners within Medical Education. The business unit’s solutions are also sold as part of Sectra Imaging IT Solutions’ customer offerings.

The Group incubator

Business Innovation is the Group’s primary incubator for future product areas. This is where we evaluate and capitalize on opportunities to commercialize new technologies and new segments that are not currently part of the Group’s core areas. The unit also includes new products and services that are not a natural match with the existing operating areas—for example, if the products in question are intended for users in other customer segments. The long-term goals are:

  • To contribute to better care for patients by solving difficult and important problems encountered by Sectra’s customers.
  • To validate clinical benefits or pursue projects that could lead to new and innovative solutions that add value for customers in Sectra’s niche areas, thereby offering significant international business potential.
  • To build and manage a strong patent portfolio in Sectra’s key areas.
  • To develop business models for new products and services.

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 the long term, the business units within Business Innovation are to be managed in one of the following ways:

  • Form a new operating area once the unit has become profitable and accounts for approximately 10% of the Group’s sales.
  • Be integrated 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.
  • 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. Sectra also sold a number of patents in 2015.
  • Discontinue if the unit does not offer sufficient potential. This occurred, for example, with the osteoporosis business unit in 2017/2018.

In Business Innovation, there are currently only medical technology projects, but this may be expanded to include projects in other areas in the future. In certain cases, the projects are already profitable business units with existing customers that need to grow further, however, before becoming an independent operating area.

Business units

Safer surgery using digital planning

The number of joint replacement surgeries is expected to increase sharply due to an aging population worldwide and is a major global healthcare challenge. To meet the growing need for better, more efficient care, Sectra offers IT systems for image-based planning and follow-up of orthopaedic surgery— for example, hip, knee, spine and trauma surgery. Using 2D and 3D medical images, measurement tools and a library of more than 90.000 implant templates and click guides, orthopaedic surgeons can diagnose and plan with greater accuracy.

For hospitals, increased precision during planning leads to reduced costs, since the operating time is shortened and the number of implants to be prepared before every surgery is reduced. For the patient, more efficient planning and shorter operating times reduce the risk of post-operative infections and other complications. We are also working on expanding our offering to radiologists who specialize in the musculoskeletal system. Several new tools developed in close partnership with healthcare were launched in this segment during 2019/2020.

Since 2018, Sectra’s offering in orthopaedics has included Sectra Implant Movement Analysis (IMA), a service for postoperative follow-up. The service helps orthopaedists determine if the pain experienced by some patients after an implant surgery is caused by a loose implant. This means that unnecessary and risky surgery can be avoided if it turns out the implant has not come loose. Furthermore, our solutions also contribute to simplifying and streamlining the proofof- concept process for new implants using the Sectra CTMA measurement method, which facilitates the measurement of movements between implants and bones using computer tomography.

Clinical studies are a part of the business unit’s growth strategy. To disseminate knowledge and collect evidence for products and services, the work on initiating new studies continues. During 2019/2020, six new studies were published, including one of the first clinical trials to use Sectra CTMA.

Sectra is currently the market leader in pre-operative planning in Scandinavia and commands a strong market position in several other countries, including the Netherlands and the UK. We are also gaining ground in the US, where several new customers have chosen to include the orthopaedics module when procuring Sectra’s complete solution for medical image management.

The way forward

  • Contribute to improved orthopaedic pre-operative planning and reduce the amount of time spent in the operating room through the development and sale of software and cloud-based services for planning and follow-up.
  • Focus on expanding the joint replacement surgery (hip, knee and shoulder) and trauma segments through direct sales and in cooperation with implant suppliers.
  • Grow first in the regions and countries where the business unit has its own sales organization: the Netherlands, North America, the Nordic region and the UK.
  • Introduce the new service for postoperative follow-up in the US market.
  • Continue the work on clinical studies for follow-up of new implants and prepare for introducing the technology in the US.

Cloud-based training platforms for reality-based learning

There is great need for training more doctors and nurses, which puts demands on modern training systems. By interacting with medical images from actual patient cases, students and resident physicians gain a better understanding of anatomy, bodily functions and variations, and better knowledge about different cases. Sectra offers Sectra Education Portal, a cloud-based education portal that provides users with access to a large digital library of quality-assured medical cases and images that a number of the world’s leading universities have contributed to. There is also the possibility of using own cases and sharing them with other customers. We also offer training terminals— Sectra’s visualization, for example—that are adapted to training in the classroom or lecture hall. During the last few years, we have moved from only supplying visualization devices for a one-time fee to also selling services with a greater focus on content.

Use of this training platform continues to grow, and it is currently available for healthcare personnel, medical training programs and veterinarians at roughly 400 educational institutions and hospitals in some 50 countries. Sales mainly take place through a network of over 30 distribution partners in Europe, the Middle East, North America, South America, South-East Asia and China. Our presence in Russia and India has recently been strengthened through new partnerships.

The way forward

  • Grow in key markets such as Europe, the Middle East and the US, where we are already established.
  • Increase sales of current subscription models.
  • Increase the utilization rate among existing customers, thereby increasing repeat sales.

Innovation for sustainable growth

Sectra’s research department conducts and participates in projects to produce clinical evidence for existing technology as well as to create new products—all in an effort to boost the company’s long-term business value. Seven researchers work in the department, three of whom divide their time between Sectra and Linköping University.

Major focus on AI in ongoing research projects

Sectra is currently involved in some ten research projects, including projects in the fields of AI and orthopaedic surgery. Projects are also being carried out in the field of digital pathology, which remains an important area for the research team. In recent years, these digital pathology projects have enabled Imaging IT Solutions’ product offerings to be expanded and improved.

AI is an underlying theme in much of the research department’s work. Our researchers are working on solutions that combine AI and visualization, focusing on how physicians control and adjust computer results. Among other projects, Sectra is one of the main participants in the Swedish, Vinnova-funded project AIDA. The project 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 Swedish healthcare sector. Two of our researchers are also participating in the large-scale Swedish AI initiative Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP). As a part of this initiative, one of Sectra’s researchers will spend six months at Stanford University in the US. Sectra is contributing research in diagnostic imaging so that AI can move from the laboratory to providing real value in clinical practice. There is another partnership with Visual Sweden, which is on the way to becoming a world-leading hub for innovation in image analysis and visualization, with close cooperation between industry, academia and the healthcare sector.

In orthopaedic surgery, Sectra was part of the recently concluded PRECIIS project, which was intended to develop methods for greater precision in planning orthopaedic surgical procedures and improving follow-up. Sectra’s solutions for analyzing orthopaedic implants are a direct result of this project.

Management

Gustaf Schwang

General Manager Business unit Orthopaedics

Johan Carlegrim

General Manager Business unit Medical Education

Claes Lundström

Research Director Medical systems