Pioneering breakthroughs in healthcare with MedTech
Healthcare has evolved drastically with technology being the propeller for digitizing it, in terms of accessibility, affordability, and quality. In conversation with Dileep Mangsuli, Head, Development Center, Siemens Healthineers, we discuss the importance of precision therapy, patient twinning and digital, data and AI, and the role of robotics in revolutionizing the healthcare industry. We also talk about the innovations out of Siemens Healthineers India Development Centre, and how it is aiding patient care in the country.
- Can you elaborate on the importance of precision therapy and the future of patient twinning?
We pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare. For everyone. Everywhere. We do this by expanding our three unique capabilities, patient twinning, precision therapy and Digital, Data and AI.
- Patient Twinning is about personalization of diagnosis, therapy selection and monitoring, after care and managing health. It aims to describe the individual characteristics of each patient as precisely as possible so that if required the next step in treatment can be tailored to the individual, including with the help of simulations. Due to innovations in medical imaging and laboratory diagnostics, we are progressing towards the idea of creating a “digital twin” of the patient.
- Precision Therapy includes intelligent, and image guided treatment for the most threatening diseases. It adapts the latest technology precisely to the situation and needs of the individual patient. Robots help physicians navigate catheters through blood vessels in the heart or brain with submillimeter accuracy. High-precision radiotherapy targets tumors and preserves healthy tissue as far as possible.
- Digital, Data, and AI aims to link up the first two capabilities to deliver the right treatment for the patient. The focus is on assisting the physicians with diagnosis and treatment planning while minimizing errors and reducing variations in care. Digitalization helps to scale up technologies. Accordingly, the patient benefits from a treatment that has proved successful in many similar cases, while harnessing the knowledge within the healthcare world.
- How is MedTech continuing to revolutionize healthcare in today’s world?
The last two years were challenging for the world. This was especially hard for healthcare, and it was a matter of pride for us in MedTech to work side-by-side with healthcare providers in fighting the pandemic and keeping the day-to-day operations running. During this period, we learned that our healthcare systems need to become even more efficient, we need to improve the access to care and there is a need to fight the most threatening diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and neurological disorders. We also recognize that this transformation will not be possible without digital technology and healthcare innovations.
Improve access to care will require care to be affordable, available, and acceptable. During the unprecedented times of COVID-19, we have realized that digitally enabled solutions such as telemedicine have gained acceptance and were able to make care more accessible.
Improving efficiencies is a critical requirement of care providers. We focus on enabling providers to better serve more patients by offering services that facilitate augmenting and automating manual workflows. Many of our AI-based solutions focus on supporting radiologists by providing imaging decision support, improving workflow efficiency by reducing the burden of basic repetitive tasks, and suggestions that may increase diagnostic precision when interpreting medical images. In addition to this, our diagnostic solutions enable fast turnaround time and revolutionary sample management.
Fighting the most threatening diseases by leveraging our strong core in imaging and robotics to expand our relevance in cardiovascular and neurovascular care. And building on our oncology leadership by expanding along the diagnostic and therapeutic disease pathway.
- How will robotics play a role in making healthcare accessible to all?
Automated and interconnected devices, powered by artificial intelligence and sensing systems, are an important key to optimizing the care continuum and improving clinical outcomes.
In the next ten years, robotic systems and imaging devices will be increasingly integrated. Across the care continuum, robots will enable us to achieve a greater level of standardization in care delivery, as well as consistent quality and outcomes. Robots can be programmed based on the techniques and best-practices of physicians and clinics where a high volume of a given procedure is performed.
Robotics in healthcare will help maintain continuity of care and protect against transmission of infections within healthcare settings. At the basic level, robotic devices can be used to take vital signs and transport medications or lab specimens without risk of infection. At a far more sophisticated level, robotic devices are already enabling surgeons to operate remotely without being in direct contact with patients. For example, they perform minimally invasive interventions in cardiology and neurology.
Experts are in short supply in healthcare, and trends show that staff shortages will be one of the biggest challenges for health systems in the years ahead. Robots will be a part of the solution. Often patients don’t get care in time. In the coming years, robotic devices that help physicians perform life-saving diagnostic and interventional procedures will be deployed more and more widely. They could help ensure that even in small rural hospitals, patients receive the best care we can offer.
We are researching and developing robotic systems and their core technologies: artificial intelligence, automation, and sensing. We’re focusing on innovative solutions for cardiology, neurology, oncology, and infectious diseases.
- Can you talk about the innovations out of Siemens Healthineers India?
Siemens Healthineers technology center in Bangalore has been contributing to the development of innovative products and technologies for over 25 years.
We have built vast expertise in software and system technologies along with a deep understanding of the MedTech domain. We significantly contribute to some of the most innovative products, for instance, our teams were deeply involved in the recently released state-of-the-art outcome driven imaging system, which has the functionality of over 100 applications embedded in it. It provides deep insights about the patient to the clinician, including the data coming from multiple devices, multiple diagnostic solutions, agnostic to where it is coming from, it may be coming from equipment from other vendors. More importantly, it integrates relevant information about the patient within the enterprise and provides insightful data about a patient and also creates reports, allowing clinicians to focus better on the treatment.
One of the proudest moments for Siemens Healthineers in India was the design, development and manufacturing of a Mobile C-Arm. This product offers best in class image quality, ease of use and manoeuvrability, and robust design all at a competitive price point. It is deeply satisfying that this made in India product is now sold in over 50 countries.