Supporting global healthcare with our innovative and sustainable solutions

Supporting global healthcare with our innovative and sustainable solutions

Did you know that 30% of the global population does not have access to essential health services today? According to World Health Organization, the right to health is a basic human right. Celebrated every year on the anniversary of the founding of the WHO, World Health Day provides a global opportunity to focus attention on important public health issues that affect the international community. This year’s theme “Health for All” highlights WHO’s mission to make healthcare accessible and convenient for all.

This is a theme very close to Ahlstrom’s purpose to purify and protect with every fiber for a sustainable world, as we are committed to protecting patients and healthcare workers and helping to provide easy access to healthcare with our innovative and sustainable fiber-based solutions. 

Rapid test kits and biosample collection cards improve access to healthcare

The treatment of many infectious diseases is time critical and there’s a rising need for early identification of highly transmissible illnesses. 

The last period has seen a boom in rapid diagnostic products, with many developed and approved by healthcare authorities around the world for the screening of a variety of different medical conditions. Rapid tests are increasingly used in clinical practice to provide actionable information for patient care in a timely manner. They are often simple to use and therefore can offer diagnostic support in resource-limited settings or away from more sophisticated diagnostic laboratory support.

Since decades, Ahlstrom has been developing components for rapid test kits, supporting diagnostics companies in their efforts to develop efficient screening devices. The pads for Lateral Flow Immuno Assay represent a rapid, cost-effective, easy-to-use, and close-to-the-patient solution for achieving reliable and consistent results during clinical diagnosis, infectious disease screening, veterinary diagnosis, food and beverage testing and environmental safety and water testing.

“Our portfolio for collecting and preserving biological samples further improves access to diagnosis, especially in resource-limited environments. Our portfolio is designed on the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) technology, the future of convenient home blood testing,” says Laia Guarro, VP Lab & LifeScience business at Ahlstrom. A microvolume of blood is collected directly onto a specimen collection card, transported to laboratory facilities and preserved at ambient temperature prior to analysis.

In recent years, the use of DBS has gained increasing interest compared to the conventional collection and analysis of liquid samples as it can offer enormous advantages in both preclinical and clinical studies. This method does not require specialized healthcare structures, is less painful and stressful for the patient thanks to the significantly lower amount of blood needed. It does not require refrigeration and special handling during shipment, resulting in significant cost-savings. Being 100% fiber-based, our cards also add value in terms of sustainability, eliminating the need for plastic tools utilized during the traditional sampling procedures.

Caring for those who take care of us thanks to our medical fibers

To make #HealthForAll a reality, it’s essential to help keep health workers worldwide safe. As an expert in barrier protection, Ahlstrom keeps healthcare professionals safe and comfortable with high-performing medical fabrics in surgical gowns and drapes, face masks, and protective apparel. “Our personal protective apparel fabrics are specifically developed for sensitive environments like laboratories. The strong, soft, highly breathable material provides an excellent barrier to protect both the wearer and the environment," Kim Anders, VP Medical business commented. 

In the fight against infectious diseases, healthcare workers need reliable protection in critical surgical environments. That's where our Breathable Viral Barrier (BVB) fabrics come in. Designed to meet rigorous international industry standards, BVB technology shields medical staff from harmful pathogens while ensuring patient safety. And it does so without sacrificing comfort: lightweight and breathable, BVB keeps medical professionals cool and dry during even the most intense procedures.

Our Reliance® single-use sterilization wrap – made from 100% cellulose or 100% cellulose/synthetic or 100% synthetic fibers – is another solution that helps protect patients and healthcare workers. Millions of patients worldwide are estimated to acquire healthcare associated infections each year during the process of care in a hospital or other health care facilities, resulting in billions of euros in costs and causing tens of thousands of fatalities. Ahlstrom’s sterilization wraps represent one of the first lines of defense against hospital acquired infections as they allow sterilization of surgical instruments, provide physical protection, maintain their sterility up to the point of use and allow aseptic presentation, safeguarding patients’ health.