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Roche to provide laboratory automation for the Finnish Blood Service

11/18/2021 9:00

The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service and Roche Diagnostics Oy have agreed on a contract to supply laboratory equipment for a new Blood Service office in Vantaa. The package will include an automated sample processing line and equipment used in carrying out the necessary infection screening of blood donor samples. The new equipment will enter use in autumn 2022.

​Two million laboratory tests are carried out annually at the Blood Service. The Blood Service laboratory performs blood type and infection tests on each blood donation. In addition, the Blood Service examines blood-group sample tests in maternity clinics throughout Finland, all tissue compatibility studies for transplants and stem cell transplants, and the various tests needed by hospitals when identifying suitable blood. 

The current laboratory technology is largely being redesigned. The automation line and equipment being installed in the new laboratory facilities will be used by the Blood Service to test for infectious diseases in each unit of donated blood. These infections include HIV, hepatitis A, B and C, syphilis and parvovirus. 

More than 2,000 samples from approximately 700 blood donors arrive at the Blood Service laboratory every day. 

- The tests to ensure blood safety have very strict quality standards. “We need reliable and efficient analysis equipment”, says Jaana Mättö, Director of the Blood Service Laboratory.

- “The technology will further increase the automation of our processes. It reduces the need to manually transfer sample tubes and racks, improves occupational ergonomics, and helps our team of skilled professionals to focus their efforts on the essentials”, she explains. 

Every component in the Blood Service’s new sample testing equipment has at least one back-up, in order to ensure the samples are securely processed. The Blood Service must be able to deliver blood products to hospitals every day of the week, both in normal and exceptional circumstances. 

- “We are looking forward to participating in this important collaboration with the Blood Service. 

Together, we make an impact on the care and wellbeing of tens of thousands of patients every year, by producing reliable blood products for daily use”, says Jaana Mantere, Sales and Marketing Director at Roche.

- “In addition to the equipment, we will also be providing comprehensive maintenance and operational support. This support makes use of Finnish resources and ensures the continuity and reliability of production”, she tells. 

The automation package will be installed in the new Blood Service premises in Vehkala, Vantaa, where the Blood Service will move in autumn 2022. 

The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) produces safe and effective blood products needed for treating patients in Finnish hospitals, and provides laboratory services. We manage the collection of blood from voluntary donors in accordance with the requirements of patient care. We also offer services to hospitals supporting organ and stem cell transplants. The FRCBS is a non-profit organisation with an annual budget of approximately EUR 60 million. It employs around 500 staff.

Roche is a global company that has been a pioneer in healthcare since 1896. We focus on medical and diagnostic innovations and their use in individual health care. Roche Diagnostics Oy has been operating in Finland since 1982. Our offices are located in Espoo, Kuopio, Oulu and Turku, and our expert functions cover all hospital districts in Finland. In 2020, net sales were approximately EUR 44 million. Roche Diagnostics Oy has approximately 85 employees. Roche has strong local expertise and resourcing in Finland.