27 July 2020
Unilabs’ role in society and in the Swedish healthcare system is more relevant now than ever.
Johan Höglund, CEO Unilabs Sweden
In what way has the covid-19 pandemic impacted Unilabs Sweden from a business perspective?
From mid-March this year we started to see a decrease regarding our incoming patient referrals. This was due to the significant lower activity of elective care at the hospitals in Sweden who were all in heightened “state of readiness” or emergency cover. Some regions had capacities as low as 20-25% compared to normal volumes. This drop, in combination with fewer patient visits in general, and people above 70 years of age in particular, not going for their primary care check-ups or mammography screening had a big impact on our business. Unilabs had to quickly meet that challenge and change by e.g. offering our competent staff to support the public healthcare system which was under strain. Since an early phase of the pandemic we have also scaled up our capabilities of Covid-19 testing and we are now one of the largest Covid-19 company fighters in Sweden.
What will be the ”new business normal” for Unilabs Sweden?
Unilabs’ role in society and in the Swedish healthcare system is more relevant now than ever. Sweden has now developed a care deficit that we as an actor in Sweden will support to reduce and recover from. We will have to live with Covid-19 for a long period of time and I believe as a consequence of this, new patient and care flows will be created. The healthcare industry will become disruptive with new innovative ways of accessing and delivering care. A new digital era is here with a wider part of the population becoming digitally mature which creates new opportunities for digital acceleration. Unilabs have shown agility to adapt but is required to continue to be humble and meet rapid changes. Finally, being an employee of Unilabs or other companies in the industry we also need to adapt, perhaps with new routines in blood collection centers and radiology departments, different routines of protection gear or distance working. At Unilabs we are currently focusing a lot on a “return-to-work plan” to support our number one priority – the safety for our employees and patients.