With a view to leverage digital technologies and manufacture equipment and devices that suit Indian needs, Siemens Healthineers has recently set up a manufacturing unit collocated with its Bangalore R&D centre. Gerd Hoefner, Managing Director and President, Siemens Healthcare shares the company’s vision behind this move with Usha Sharma
What are the various medical equipment business segments that Siemens Healthineers operates in India and what is the market share?
We operate in three segments— imaging, advanced therapies and diagnostics, and are market leaders in each of them. In diagnostic imaging, our portfolio spans across computed tomography, magnetic resonance, molecular imaging, X-ray products, ultrasound, and imaging IT. In advanced therapies our portfolio consists of angiography systems, mobile C-arms, hybrid operating rooms, and imaging for radiation oncology. In the diagnostics, we offer solutions for clinical chemistry, immunoassay, hemostasis, hematology, blood gas, urinalysis, molecular virology, liquid biopsy, automation, and IT.
What opportunities do you see in the coming years and how are you going to capitalise them?
We see a large opportunity for digitalisation of healthcare. We also believe that healthcare will become more precise, enabling the right treatment at the right time for every patient. Improving patient experience will be important. We believe patients are becoming informed consumers. Once accurately diagnosed, what matters to patients is preferred treatment outcomes that will ultimately lead to a higher quality of life.
Recently, the company inaugurated its manufacturing facility in India, what will this unit focus on?
The Bangalore factory will produce mobile Cios Fit, a unique C-arm radiology system designed for India and emerging markets and it will also manufacture the computed tomography systems from the Somatom go. Platform.
Give us details on the investment done in establishing this manufacturing unit, size and capacity of the unit?
We have invested Rs 20 crore in the new manufacturing facility. This unit already has around 70 employees, and the workforce will be extended in three phases by the fiscal year 2025. Operations have already started in this new ISO13485 (2016) certified state-of-the-art facility, which is spread across 5,000 square meters and can fulfill the strong demand from India and emerging markets.
What is the objective behind setting up manufacturing facility close to your research and development center?
As Siemens Healthineers is harnessing the power of digitalisation in healthcare, the collocation of the manufacturing with our R&D centre will helps us in leveraging synergies and enable us to deliver value to customers faster. Over the years, the R&D centre at Bengaluru has grown into a digital hub for the company accounting for over half of all the software engineering talent within Siemens Healthineers. The centre generates solutions spanning all our business segments.
Give us a brief update on Cios Fit, a mobile C-arm and its relevance in the Indian healthcare market. Are these products available in the global healthcare market too?
Cios Fit, is a multidisciplinary mobile C-arm created to address the tough demands of India. It will address high patient loads and the need to perform multiple procedures. It offers best in class image quality clear images on a touchscreen monitor; it is simple to use and has fewer moving parts for higher reliability. Cios Fit’s powerful imaging technology produces crystal clear images of anatomical structures, implants, screws, and devices, which will enable surgeons in India to maintain consistency for accurate treatment and improved patient experience. We are looking to make India a hub for the Cios Fit. After we meet the local demand, we could look at exporting the imaging devices from the India facility to countries like Africa and China.
The company is also focusing on creating ‘Avatar’ a technology based on augmented reality (AR), how will this improve imaging mechanisms?
The whole gamut of mixed reality solutions that include augmented and virtual reality has a great potential to add value to health care providers in multiple scenarios such as training the hospital staff, aiding surgeons in real time, and guiding customer support engineers.
Give us the brief update about the company’s PPP model and how are you expanding it further?
Siemens Healthineers believes in India’s growth story and will invest wherever we see a positive business case.
– Dr Nanjappa K. M. from Cauvery Uroderm Centre, Kalyan shares his experience using Cios Fit, a mobile C-arm. Particularly for the Indian market, you say that Siemens Healthineers has a robust research and development plans in the artificial intelligence, cyber security, and digital technology area, please elaborate on the same. Siemens Healthineers is a pioneer in AI development for over 20 years, and we have over 500 patent families related to machine learning. We also have over 45 AI-based offerings. We conduct around 500 AI experiments per day on Sherlock – our 20 PetaFlop supercomputer using our unique data lake of curated images, reports, and clinical data.