Rising costs, increasing demand and globalisation are placing strain on the Malaysian healthcare sector. Siemens Healthcare Sdn Bhd offers a portfolio of strategic solutions to help mitigate these concerns.
Streamlining global operations
The international branch of Siemens Healthcare began operating in Malaysia in the 1970s. Following a 2014 global restructuring process, the company became a standalone entity, Siemens Healthcare Sdn. Bhd. (Siemens Healthcare).
Siemens Healthcare offers state-of-the-art in vivo and in vitro diagnostic imaging solutions to the public and private sector. The company has equipment installed in public, private and teaching university hospitals across Malaysia.
In recent years, the healthcare industry has undergone a rapid evolution with the emergence of new market demands and growing customer expectations, including increasing calls for greater affordability and access to healthcare. As a standalone company, Siemens Healthcare is able to swiftly adapt to these changing dynamics and provide strategic solutions to the most pressing challenges confronting the healthcare sector.
Access and affordability
The government’s Eleventh Malaysia Plan seeks to ensure universal access to quality healthcare at affordable prices by 2020. Siemens Healthcare fully endorses this goal and is developing strategic solutions to this end by combining technological innovation with productivity improvements. This, in turn, helps healthcare providers to deliver more affordable healthcare solutions to greater numbers of people across Malaysia.
Solutions to the issue of healthcare affordability are intricately linked to innovation. A prime illustration of how Siemens Healthcare is generating cost reductions across the sector is its ecoline system of medical imaging equipment. By fully restoring existing equipment to the same quality and reliability standards as new equipment, Siemens Healthcare is able to offer this technology to customers at a fraction of the price of new systems. Customer costs are therefore reduced, enabling the transfer of savings on to service users. As a consequence, this contributes directly to greater affordability, access and sustainability within the healthcare sector.
Similarly, Siemens Healthcare provides the domestic market with upgrade-ready products, allowing customers to increase system capacity in terms of hardware and software, as well as to expand their clinical coverage. These products also mitigate the need to invest heavily in a new system.
Refurbishment and upgrade solutions feed into Siemens Healthcare’s commitment to reduce the total ownership cost of its systems. All products are designed to function with smaller carbon footprints, as the modern systems run on lower power consumption and include in-built power-saving mechanisms. Furthermore, Siemens Healthcare’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) products possess zero helium boil-off, meaning hospitals need not purchase additional quantities of increasingly scarce and expensive helium to operate.
Siemens Healthcare’s systems and solutions are designed to ensure leaner and more efficient workflows for customers, illustrated by the company’s work on improving scanner speeds. By incorporating high quality, home-grown detector materials, Siemens Healthcare has significantly reduced the amount of radiation required to produce high quality images by constantly improving its homegrown detector materials used in Computed Tomography (CT). Additionally, this enables reduction of scan time by approximately 50 per cent.
Similarly, in terms of MRIs, Siemens Healthcare has developed ultra-fast sequences that produce a set of high quality images, enabling patients to be scanned in ten rather than 35 minutes for certain routines. This technology increases productivity by allowing the scanning of a greater number of patients over a 24-hour period.
In support of its objective to increase productivity, Siemens Healthcare is also targeting improvements in planning and management procedures. For example, the introduction of optimal workflows for imaging modalities by automating routine processes maximises customer productivity, allowing healthcare professionals to prioritise more critical functions and patient care.
These improvements are significant, as workflow challenges remain prevalent in Malaysia. In a laboratory setting, such challenges can be addressed with Siemens Healthcare Laboratory Diagnostics’ automation solutions.
Siemens Healthcare offers a strategic solution to this challenge with the creation of consultancy service portfolios for customers. These portfolios identify logical solutions relating to transparent workflows, infrastructure needs and care optimisation, thereby facilitating workflow integration between existing and new facilities. Moreover, the company provides consultancy services to target workflow optimisation in radiology departments, including specific modalities, such as CT and MRI scans.
A trusted partner
The rise of globalisation, increasing population growth and longer life expectancy in recent decades places a significant strain on global healthcare systems and has contributed to the surge in non-communicable diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
Such phenomena are contributing factors in the rise of cancer in Malaysia, which, according to the National Cancer Society Malaysia, causes approximately 30,000 annual deaths in the country. With rates rising year on year, there is an urgent need for reliable and high-precision radiotherapy equipment.
Siemens Healthcare is taking steps to combat this disease by working in close collaboration with key partners. Through its strategic global partnership with Varian Medical Systems, which manufactures medical devices and associated software, Siemens is bundling its linear accelerator systems with its diagnostic imaging equipment system and providing unprecedented accuracy in the care and treatment of cancer patients.
Successful partnerships, in conjunction with innovative solutions to technological and productivity challenges, have allowed Siemens Healthcare to consolidate market presence in the national medical diagnostic field. Indeed, Siemens Healthcare’s strong position in the Malaysian in vivo diagnostic imaging industry is a testament to market trust in the company.
To boost its presence in less developed market segments, Siemens Healthcare is pursuing a balanced, demand-based product mix in conjunction with a go-to-market strategy. By means of this approach, Siemens Healthcare will undertake a series of marketing activations to augment its success.
Fostering public-private engagement
Partnerships and collaboration are particularly important in the context of mitigating the potential burden of increased life expectancy and non-communicable diseases on the public and private healthcare sectors. To this end, joint action from governments and private actors is vital, since the responsibility cannot be borne by any one player alone.
Thus, strategic collaboration between Siemens Healthcare and the Malaysian government is critical. One potential area of cooperation relates to the Malaysian government’s decision in 2015 to allow public hospitals to procure refurbished imaging systems as part of its efforts to identify low-cost alternatives for diagnostic equipment.
Accordingly, Siemens Healthcare is in a prime position to respond to the government’s needs by means of its ecoline refurbishment and upgrade offerings. Partnership in this area would present the government with an efficient, low-cost and well-tested strategic solution for addressing the needs of Malaysian patients over the short and medium term.
SIEMENS HEALTHCARE SDN BHD
CP Tower 11
46350 Petaling Jaya
+60 3 7952-5335