The history of Liko starts with at two separate dates, with 50 years in between. In 1929 William A. Hillenbrand founded Hill-Rom with a dream of bringing the home into the hospital; patients should feel comfortable and secure in a hospital. 50 years later, in 1979, Liko was founded by Gunnar Liljedahl, who wanted to show the world how to lift and transfer people in a safe and easy way.
Liko and Hill-Rom have a common background as family companies with a mission of improving the quality of the care for both caregivers and patients. In October 2008 Hill-Rom acquired Liko, the cultural and historical similarities in combination with the complementing product portfolios made the integration of he two companies a natural fit.
You can read more on the history of Hill-Rom here.
Liko's history started in the 1970's when Gunnar Liljedahl worked as an engineer and designer of special assistive devices at the Norrbotten County Council. There he developed innovative aids to help individual patients. Gunnar was happy with his job, but wanted more people to be able to profit from his innovations. This is the way the thought of having his own company Liko was born.
The production was located in the village of Alvik outside Luleå, where Gunnar had inherited a patch of land from his father. Here he built a small red garage where all of the development, production and sales were managed in the beginning. The first product that Liko produced was the furniture riser Liljan, which is still going strong.
Focusing on lifting and transferring patients
But it didn't take long before the company started focusing more and more on lifting and transferring patients.
Already in 1980 Liko could introduce its first overhead lift, the Liko MasterLift. Success was not long in coming.
Soon the company started to grow and employ several people. One of the first who came to the company was Gunnar's wife, Barbro Liljedahl. She had worked as an occupational therapist in the County Council, and brought with her even more functional knowledge to the company.
Soon the next innovation came, the world's first all-textile sling.
As the company continued to grow and develop new products, the garage was extended successively.
When Liko had become a well-known and established brand within Swedish borders, international expansion plans started to take form.
The 90's were the period when Liko became more and more known outside Sweden and the Nordic countries. By the establishment of its own companies and cooperation with exclusive distributors in different countries, Liko become one of the big international players.
From the end of the 90's and up to today, the expansion has continued with unabated speed. Thanks to the fact that the company has grown faster than the market for assistive devices, Liko has constantly taken market shares.
The red garage, which fast grew too small and was joined by big production, storage and office buildings, is still there as a humble reminder of the quick journey.
Complete solution for patient care and transfers
In October 2008 it was announced that Liko had become a part of the world-leading medical technology group Hill-Rom. With this merger Liko's products could be offered to more customers globally, and, together, the two companies could offer their customers a complete solution for patient care and transfers, with a focus on improving the care quality and the caregiver productivity.
Successful history and future
Today Liko develops, produces and markets patient lifts, slings, transfer aids and accessories.
Our business concept is a question of making a difference in the everyday life of our customers:
"Every day we make a positive difference in the lives of patients, and those who care for them."
A few important steps in our history:
1979: Liko AB is registered – one employee
1979: Furniture Riser Liljan
1980: Liko MasterLift, mechanical emergency lowering, aluminium rails, support-leg installation
1980: Liko OriginalSling – the first all-textile sling
1983: Green slings – a characteristic Liko feature
1983: LikoStretch Mod 300, Mod 1800
1984: Liko Original HighBack Sling
1984: Liko OctoStretch
1984: Safety latches on sling bars – the first manufacturer ever
1985: Liko HygieneSling
1985: Liko MasterVest
1986: Golvo, the world’s first mobile lift capable of lifting from the floor
1987: Liko AmputeeSling
1988: Liko HygieneVest
1988: Extra small – slings for small children
1990: Liko LiftPants
1991: Liko UniversalSling
1992: Uno, a mobile lift for the home
1992: Liko SilhouetteSling
1994: Liko UK – sales company opened
1994: Likorall 240 battery-powered overhead lift
1997: Quality management system certification, in accordance with ISO 9002 (later ISO 9001)
1997: Sales company in the USA
1997: Sabina sit-to-stand lift
1999: Environmental management system certification, in accordance with ISO 14001
1999: Likorall 242 lift motor – 200 kg (440 lbs.)
1999: LikoLight – folding and easy to transport light-weight lift
2000: Liko GmbH – sales company opened in Germany
2000: Multirall lift motor
2001: FreeSpan – freestanding lift system
2001: Sabina II sit-to-stand lift
2002: Ultra – System for lifting up to 400 kg (880 lbs.)
2002: Viking 300 – mobile lift for 300 kg (660 lbs.)
2002: Solo Disposable Sling
2003: Liko on the year's Marathon list
2003: FreeSpan Traverse – free-standing traverse system
2003: Liko Service Centre in Karlskrona, Sweden
2004: Viking - the new generation of mobile lifts
2004: Liko celebrates 25 years!
2005: Likorall 250 = 250 kg (550 lbs) with an overhead lift
2005: The repositioning sheet RepoSheet™
2006: RollOn – a unique raising aid
2006: FreeStand – freestanding lift system
2007: Solo SupportVest
2008: Liko Diagnostic System™ – intelligent electronics box
2008: HandySheet™ and HandyTube™
2008: Liko Norge – sales company opened in Norway
2008: Liko, a Hill-Rom Company
2009: Liko 30 years!