Mr. Fabrice Leguet, General Director of Siemens Healthineers Vietnam, tells VET how the company enables better healthcare outcomes at lower cost.
Can you give us a brief introduction to Siemens Healthineers?
Siemens Healthineers provides a broad spectrum of imaging and laboratory diagnostics systems and solutions to hospitals, clinics and diagnostics centers, so called healthcare providers, throughout the world.
To make it tangible, let's take an example: imagine a friend of yours in his 50s suddenly suffers from intense chest pains and needs to rush to the emergency department at the nearest hospital. Among other examinations and depending on his clinical conditions, the emergency doctor would most probably send him to a computed tomography (CT) scanner to detect possible pulmonary or cardiovascular anomalies, as well as to get his blood tested for troponin levels, which could indicate a heart infarct. These tests will help the doctor decide the most appropriate treatment and most probably save your friend's life if it is performed early enough. Our company provides solutions for this type of medical imaging and blood tests.
Beyond this specific example, our portfolio covers many different applications based on a multitude of technologies.
In the field of medical imaging (also called "in Vivo"), we provide Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound, Molecular Imaging, various X-ray based systems and advanced software solutions used for diagnostics purposes or for guiding therapies before and during the procedures, such as angiographic interventions for cardiovascular treatment or radiotherapies for cancer treatment.
In the field of laboratory (also called "In Vitro"), we provide several hundred different tests to detect and assess diseases through multiple chemical, biological and molecular parameters.
In fact, close to 90 per cent of medical decisions are based on the type of technology we provide both in the "in Vivo'' and "In Vitro'' fields and Siemens Healthineers is the biggest supplier of Healthcare Infrastructure, both worldwide and in Vietnam. In 2014, more than 209,000 patients were treated and examined every hour worldwide using Siemens technologies.
This gives us not only the advantage of scale but also of a comprehensive understanding of the most common diseases and the way we can help our customers optimize clinical workflows along the entire continuum of care: from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, on to treatment and aftercare. Ultimately, that helps make healthcare faster and better for patients and more cost-effective for society.
What about your presence in Vietnam?
Siemens started its healthcare activities in Vietnam in 1993 with the establishment of a Siemens representative office. We are proud to be a real pioneer in bringing new technologies to the Vietnamese community; like the first MRI in Vietnam in 1996, the first Linear Accelerator for cancer treatment in 1997, the first track based Laboratory Automation in 2005, the first Positron Emission Tomograph in 2009, and many more.
Investing for instance in a very high tech "3 Tesla'' MRI system, which costs a couple of million US dollars, is not a decision to take lightly for a hospital. There are several critical factors the hospital management looks at in doing so, including: the right choice of the system and its options to optimize budget versus intended clinical applications; the insurance of solid maintenance processes to keep the system up and running; adequate training for both the operators and the doctors so that they understand and leverage the tremendous possibilities offered by the technology, thus being able to maximize its positive impact on the patient's health.
These expectations were what we had in mind when ramping up our local Siemens Healthcare team over the past years with a now large professional and well trained pool of Vietnamese experts: clinical specialists, product managers, operator trainers and field engineers, all with capabilities similar to those we have built up in more mature countries. Beyond technology, this has improved our level of service to our customers and reinforced their trust in our company.
Siemens Healthineers became a limited company on January 1, 2016. What was the reason for this change from a key business of the large Siemens Corporation to a limited company?
The healthcare environment is changing dramatically and healthcare technology providers who want to remain on the cutting edge need to redefine their strategies, identity new areas of growth and new ways of enabling healthcare providers to deliver high quality care in an efficient manner. Being the industry pioneer, Siemens Healthineers announced an ambitious global strategy at the end of July 2015 and a new organizational structure is being executed at all Siemens Healthineers entities worldwide. In alignment with the global strategy, Siemens Healthineers Limited Company was established as a 100 per cent foreign-owned entity on January 1, 2016 and is serving customers in Vietnam.
We believe that, as a separate legal organization, Siemens Healthineers will be better able to respond to changing trends and to the expected paradigm shifts in our industry and therefore will be better able to continue to meet the specific needs of healthcare customers in Vietnam.