Focusing on What’s Important
Meghadipa Goswami came to Finland to study and she is now working for the diagnostics company ArcDia International Ltd. This has given her a valuable insight on how things work in the industry. Coming from India, she sees Turku as a place where she can focus on what’s important in her work.
You came to Finland in 2018 to do a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. Why?
I moved here right after I finished my bachelor in India, and it is one of the best decisions I have made so far. Towards the end of my bachelor I thought there is so much possibilities in the field of diagnostics that I decided this track is the right one for me.
Why did you choose Finland and the University of Turku?
Finland seemed to be a great option for instance because of the gender equality. I really liked the study program in molecular biotechnology and diagnostics that I had selected. I am a full scholarship student, so I have no tuition fee, which is generous of the university.
What do you think about the Finnish education system?
It is based on independent studying and working. I have found that to be quite beneficial particularly at a Master’s level of study, especially if you want to start working professionally. I admire the fact that the system is not competition based, it really allows you to make progress and to focus on relevant things.
What do you think of the city of Turku?
Turku is a big city in a small city. We have everything here but at the same time you do not feel rushed and you are not overwhelmed by traffic. The climate has been the most difficult thing to adjust to. The difference in darkness in the winter and lightness in the summer is something you don’t see in many places in the world.
How did you end up working for diagnostics company ArcDia International Ltd.?
I started out as a summer intern and I was also a thesis worker for them. In my master’s thesis I developed diagnostics for sexually transmitted diseases using ArcDia’s mariPOC platform. My main role has been to work as a research assistant and as a side role I have also taken care of some of their marketing work.
ArcDia develops rapid, point of care tests for acute infections. What excites you about the company?
The purpose behind it: the fact that our test system is really helpful to patients in need, that it helps someone who is ill to receive his medication faster.
Describe the working culture at ArcDia.
In a small company you get to know and work with everyone, and you can make progress and grow. My immediate colleagues have become my work family. ArcDia is like a home away from home.
What do you see in ArcDia’s future?
ArcDia has a lot of potential for growth. We are already the market leaders in rapid respiratory infection diagnostics in Finland and our mariPOC diagnostics platform can be of use to health care professionals worldwide.
Whom would you recommend to come to Turku?
I think the City of Turku offers great opportunities for international talents in the biotechnology as well as in the diagnostics industry. Since it is a student city, it might also be a great place to start your professional career as a student.
What do you think about the diagnostics industry in Turku region?
It has been flourishing over the last few decades. I believe that one of the main reasons is that the research in biotechnology, biology and biochemistry is so strong at the universities here.
Janne Koskinen, you are the head of research, development, and marketing at ArcDia. How was the company born?
ArcDia is an excellent example of collaboration in Turku region. When we were young researchers, we had a wonderful technology and promising results of how the technology could be applied in infection diagnostics. Some of the physicians in Turku University Hospital encouraged us to develop a rapid test system. We began to create a system now known as mariPOC. Now we have been on the market for 10 years and we have a significant role in this business.
Tell us a bit more about mariPOC.
It is a fully automated analyser for rapid infection diagnostics. Our portfolio covers testing the respiratory infections, such as influenza or coronaviruses and gastrointestinal infections such as norovirus. Health care professionals use mariPOC to make accurate diagnostics during one patient visit.
What are your expectations in ArcDia’s future?
We would like to expand the success we have had in the Finnish market into the international markets. The Covid-19 pandemic is a great risk for mankind and our test can be beneficial for individuals globally.
What motivates you in diagnostics right now?
With the covid pandemic we are really in the heart of what is happening in diagnostics. It is personally very satisfying to work every day with things that can help the world fight the pandemic better.