High COVID-19 test capacity in Denmark rely on public-private cooperation

The COVID-19 infection rate in Denmark is currently high, and it is still increasing. Even though Denmark is already ranking high among EU countries when it comes to testing capacity, there is still a need for a constant increase in the testing capacity - and this is achieved through strong public-private cooperation.

Denmark has a longstanding tradition of cooperation between the private and public sectors, and the current COVID-19 situation emphasizes that this kind of cooperation is crucial and more relevant than ever since the fight against COVID-19 relies on innovation and fast access to both new and existing treatment. 

The pandemic has shown that, in Denmark, the public and private sectors are extremely efficient in creating the best basis for good and effective infection detection through innovative solutions.

Recently, the government and the Danish Regions have entered into a provisional agreement with the Danish provider of healthcare services, Falck, to deliver 50,000 daily COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, which will be a supplement to the existing PCR testing capacity. The new tests are less precise than PCR tests, but their strength is that they provide answers within 15 minutes, which means that the chain of infection can be broken instantly. 

Another successful example includes Novo Nordisk, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Denmark, which has contributed to the fight against COVID-19 by offering its expertise and resources to contribute to increasing the capacity for tests. Novo Nordisk has offered to provide a number of the staff at the Novo Nordisk’s research departments and has also offered to analyze samples at Novo Nordisk’s laboratories since the increase in daily samples exceeds the hospitals' capacity.

Pentabase, a Danish biotechnology company, has optimized testing by developing an innovative, robust, and resource-effective solution to detect the presence of nucleic acids from COVID-19 in humans and thereby help to determine if a patient is tested positive for the virus. 

Systematic, which is a Danish supplier of logistics, care, and patient record solutions to the healthcare sector in Denmark and abroad, has customized an IT system that currently provides the health authorities with an overview of the capacity of Denmark’s test centers. Systematic adapted the solution, which was configured to receive data from the test centers' booking system so that the health authorities can have an overall overview of the capacity of the country's test centers. The system allows both test centers and authorities to monitor the number of bookings, test times offered, tests completed and thus provides an overview of the capacity pressure.

With these public-private initiatives with our industry, Danish healthcare authorities have gradually increased Danish test capacity to the current level of 125.000 tests every day (eq. 2,2% of the Danish population). Year-to-date 9 million COVID-19 tests have been completed and 3,7 million citizens have been tested (65% of the Danish population).