Sectra's history

40+ years of knowledge and passion

Sectra carried out its first consulting assignment in the late 1970s. A few years later, the company recruited additional joint owners with grand visions for Sectra’s future. This marked the start of the company’s expansion and development into a well-established brand in the area of cybersecurity and medical IT.

The road to world-leading products

These are some of the milestones throughout the 40+ years we have been working for a healthier and safer society.

1978
The early days
1978
Roots in research and security

Data security became Sectra’s first niche area in 1978, when a team of researchers from the Institute of Technology at Linköping University were presented with the task of creating a security solution for banks. To take on the assignment, Professor Ingemar Ingemarsson formed the company Sectra (SECure TRAnsmission) together with his postgraduate students Viiveke Fåk, Rolf Blom and Robert Forchheimer. Viiveke, Robert and Ingemar (all in the picture) are still major shareholders in the company. Sectra’s ties with the research community remain strong to this day, and our history is characterized by innovation and business development that create significant customer value.

Exploring innovative ideas

In the early years, Sectra was involved in many different areas, always looking for areas in which to apply the company’s core competence. One such area was image compression, in which Sectra built hardware for compressing and sending images. This solution was used during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles to send sports photos back to Europe. Other examples include smart heating regulation systems for apartment buildings and private homes, and communication systems for monitoring air traffic.

1985
From consultancy to product development

Jan-Olof Brüer, now Chairman of the Sectra Board of Directors and second largest owner, became a postgraduate student in information theory under the supervision of Professor Ingemarsson. When one of Sectra’s founders left the company, Jan-Olof stepped in as a joint owner, bringing with him new ideas on how to turn Sectra into a “real” company and ultimately taking over as President after Viiveke Fåk. The company transitioned into the development and sale of products and system solutions in data security and image encoding.

We had a good laugh at what we thought was simply Jan-Olof’s flight of fancy. Today, I would say that his vision has been surpassed.
Professor Ingemar Ingemarsson, founder of Sectra
1986
Sectra is credited with the invention of a “vaccine” for computer viruses

Sectra was a forerunner in the fight against cybercrime. Optimistic journalists reported that Sectra had discovered a vaccine to protect computers against viruses in the form of a new product that could detect access violations in file systems.

1987
National security

Sectra received a defense order for a new crypto module. This marked the beginning of our focus on security products for customers in defense departments and government authorities. Sectra has been a market leader in crypto equipment for the Swedish Defense Forces since the 1990s, and the company’s security products are currently used by government authorities and defense departments in most EU member states.

1989
Expansion into medical IT

Guided by a keen interest in medical technology and a vision of digital radiology images, Sectra’s current President and CEO, Torbjörn Kronander, came to the Institute of Technology at Linköping University as a postgraduate student in the 1980s, where he also had Professor Ingemarsson as his advisor. Torbjörn was recruited to Sectra and initiated an expansion into digital image management systems for radiology departments in 1989. In 1993, Sweden’s first film-free radiology department, using Sectra systems was opened in Mjölby. The company’s largest area is now medical technology, a niche in which Sectra commands a world-leading position.

Late 1990's
1995
International expansion

Sectra’s first subsidiary outside Sweden was formed in Norway. Today, we have direct sales in 19 countries.

1998
Approved crypto phone

Sectra Tiger was approved for the classification level SECRET and enabled the Swedish Defense Forces to become the first in the world with eavesdrop-protected mobile telephone communication for national secrets.

1999
Listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange

To confirm that the company had developed into a strong player before continuing its international expansion, Sectra became a public company and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

The listing provided us with credibility, attention and financial opportunities to continue to expand internationally. It also enabled strategic acquisitions of complementary businesses and products to strengthen Sectra's organic growth.
Jan-Olof Brüer, Chairman of the Board of Sectra AB
1999
Improving patient care in orthopaedics

Sectra becomes the first in the world to offer a system for digital planning of orthopaedic surgery. Sectra has continued innovating within this area and today, some of the most prestigious orthopaedic clinics use our systems for planning and follow-up of orthopaedic surgery to achieve better treatment results. Our systems also help to cut costs by reducing the amount of time spent in the operating theater.

2000–2014
2002
Committed to women’s health

Sectra launched a digital mammography modality, MicroDose Mammography, which made it possible to achieve examinations with the same high image quality as the film-based systems used at that time, at only one-fifth of the radiation dose. The product was developed in collaboration with Professor Mats Danielsson and his research group at the Royal Institute of Technology. This product and business area were divested 2011. However, Sectra’s commitment to women’s health remains strong. Our imaging IT solution for breast imaging clinics is used successfully by both national screening programs and prominent breast imaging clinics.

2010
Platform for medical education

Sectra launched the Sectra Visualization Table, a multi-touch display for interacting collaboratively with real-size 3D images generated by CT and MRI scanners to gain a deeper understanding and insight into bodily functions and processes. This unique solution, developed in cooperation with Linköping University, the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV), Norrköping Visualization Center C, and The Interactive Institute, serves as a platform for medical education, clinical conferences and virtual autopsies.

This is an example of how our close cooperation with research centers allows us to apply the latest technology in solutions that facilitate daily work for our customers.
Torbjörn Kronander, President and CEO of Sectra
2012
Image sharing connects healthcare providers and patients

Sectra acquired the UK company Burnbank. Burnbank was founded in 1988, and one of the company’s greatest accomplishments was to virtually connect all radiology departments in the country, allowing them to easily exchange images with each other. Since the acquisition, the solution has been refined and is now used to send all types of medical images between both healthcare providers and external users, such as patients, in several countries across the globe.

2013
First ‘Best in KLAS’ award

The focus on customer satisfaction had begun to pay off and we received our first “Best in KLAS” award in the independent customer satisfaction survey conducted by KLAS. The award is given to vendors to recognize their outstanding efforts to help healthcare professionals deliver better patient care.

2015–
2015
Technical partnership with Samsung

Samsung and Sectra entered into a technical partnership to integrate the Samsung KNOX™ platform with Sectra’s solution for secure smartphone communication, paving the way to Sectra’s mobile workplace offering of tablets and smartphones.

2015
Digitizing pathology and expansion

Sectra launched a solution for digital primary diagnostics in pathology, enabling pathologists to review cases digitally on a computer screen instead of using a microscope. This contributes to more efficient cancer care by enhancing collaboration and the sharing of images.

2016
Expanding offering to cybersecurity for critical infrastructure

The launch of services for security and risk management in critical infrastructure marked the beginning of a strategic partnership with a Swedish energy company. The partnership encompassed the development and testing of a monitoring service for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in energy distribution.

2016
The Group’s sales surpass SEK 1 billion

Thanks to its long-term private and institutional owners, Sectra has developed at a controlled pace and remained a Swedish company.

Given the fact that customer confidence is a critical success factor, Sectra has always prioritized stable, long-term growth over rapid, high-risk expansion.
2018
40-year anniversary

Sectra celebrated 40 years of knowledge and passion!

FDA approval for digital pathology solution received

Following formal FDA approval, healthcare providers in the US can now begin to use Sectra’s digital pathology solution for primary diagnostics and remote viewing.

2020
Top Innovator Award

With an innovation score of 90.03%, Sectra is named by the Swiss investment analysis company ALPORA as a leader in innovation, characterized by a particularly high level of innovation efficiency.

2021
Sweden’s best employers

Sectra ranks among the top four companies in Universum’s 2021 survey of Sweden’s best employers.

2022
Ranked #1 in customer satisfaction for the ninth consecutive year

Sectra’s radiology module for enterprise imaging, Sectra PACS, has won the prestigious customer satisfaction award Best in KLAS. It has been ranked number one by healthcare providers for the ninth consecutive year in the US, third consecutive year in Canada, and for a first-time in Asia/Oceania. Additionally, Sectra was this year ranked #2 both in Europe and in the category Digital Pathology (non-US). The attention we have received for customer satisfaction has boosted our growth in the Imaging IT Solutions operating area.

Receiving this positive feedback from our customers cannot be underestimated. It’s the best proof point that we have highly skilled and motivated employees who listen to, and care about our customers. Everyone at Sectra realizes that, in the end, it is patients that benefit from the products and services we provide. This makes us immensely happy and proud.
Marie Ekström Trägårdh, President of Sectra's Imaging IT Solutions operating area
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