Stories from our people at the frontlines
The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic continues to spread, confronting healthcare professionals around the world with unprecedented clinical and operational challenges. As they struggle to deal with this extraordinary situation, at the same time they must also continue to care for other patients.
At Siemens Healthineers, we are aware of the urgency and complexity of the current situation, and we are working hard to provide the best possible support to healthcare providers at each stage of COVID-19 patient care: diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and follow-up.
Our objective, at this critical time and always, is to support our front-line healthcare professionals, helping them to deliver high-value care to patients and families. We will remain focused on this goal during these difficult days and will continue to work with all of our stakeholders to ensure that we overcome this challenge.
COVID-19 patient pathway1
COVID-19 patient pathway1
RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2
The new FTD SARS-CoV-2 real time PCR Assay (RUO)2 from Siemens Healthineers is now available3 for molecular laboratories. A dual-target design for SARS-CoV-2 identification provides assay robustness and optimal sensitivity, specificity, and inclusivity. The FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay uses the same assay setup protocol and thermal-cycling profile as all FTD respiratory pathogens kits from Siemens Healthineers.4
Comprehensive lab testing to manage increased workload
Fast, accurate detection and monitoring for the variety of health issues that may arise as part of COVID-19 disease management are critical. Our comprehensive portfolio of systems and extensive menu in immunoassay, chemistry, hematology, hemostasis, molecular, and urinalysis, in conjunction with automation, informatics and services can help support the essential role of laboratory diagnostics. We are expanding our infectious-disease testing capabilities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, Siemens Healthineers is developing a SARS CoV-2 serology assay5 and is also exploring potential partnerships to help address this health crisis.
Manage patients in triage locations
In order to help inform clinical decisions during the COVID-19 crisis, labs need systems that are easy to install and run with broad menus to test patients for other related or unrelated medical conditions that may exist. Our compact, integrated chemistry and immunoassay testing system6 provides a simple user interface to rapidly mobilize testing with quick turnaround times for certain critical tests. A disposable, sealed cuvette design may help reduce contact with potentially infectious sample mixtures and aerosols.
Blood gas testing for critical patients
Critical patients on ventilator support need frequent blood gas monitoring. Fast, accurate screening, and monitoring for a variety of health issues that can arise as part of COVID-19 are also needed. The RAPIDPoint and RAPIDLab series, and especially, our epoc Blood Analysis System enables comprehensive blood analysis testing - including blood gas - at the patient’s side with results in less than a minute.
Computed Tomography (CT) images used in evaluation of infectious disease
CT images can help physicians differentiate between various types of infectious acquired diseases. Viral acquired pneumonia (incl. COVID-19) can be characterized by different patterns of lung changes and their locations7. High resolution (HR) lung images (slice thickness <= 1.5 mm) are required for evaluation of such lung diseases. Based on experiences reported to us from other countries impacted by COVID-19, we see a need for one CT system for every 100 ICU beds. In addition, our mobile CT workflow provides the capability for technologists to maintain a 1.5 m (6 ft) distance from potentially infected patients.
X-ray system for triage locations
Widespread availability of X-ray systems allows for triaging cases for further diagnosis. MOBILETT Elara Max is a lightweight portable X-ray system that can aid in the diagnosis of pneumonia. It can be quickly deployed in triage locations. Improve hygienic conditions thanks to the system design. It features antimicrobial coating, integrated cables, and smooth and closed surfaces. The fully enclosed X-ray tube arm finds the right position quickly with 180 degrees of lateral arm movement, letting staff reach into tight spaces while keeping some distance from your patient.
Cios mobile C-arms – an option for lung imaging
Current literature suggests chest radiography as a staging or triaging option in COVID-19 patients.8 Mobile C-arms are not specifically designed for COVID-19 diagnosis. Cios Alpha and Cios Spin provide high-quality chest digital radiography (DR) images9 when portable X-ray is not available. Cios mobile C-arms can be positioned flexibly according to the imaging needs in standing, sitting or lying patients. The systems offer antimicrobial coating, smooth and closed surfaces and approved cleaning and draping protocols for infection control.
Ultrasound systems for bedside imaging
Ultrasound provides a fast, simple and portable clinical imaging solution when scanning for Coronavirus. Ultrasound machines used today for COVID-19 include the ACUSON P500™, designed to support clinicians with ultrasound applications that include lung, cardiac and FAST exams, as well as interventional procedures at the bedside.
Remote scanning assistance to ensure care continuity
syngo Virtual Cockpit enables your expert technologists to remotely perform CT exams10 of infectious COVID-19 patients over broad geographic regions, aiming to maximize their availability.
ECG Management Consultants – trusted advice on COVID-19
As your organization acts to serve your community, ECG Management Consultants – A Siemens Healthineers Company – is here to support you. We are providing our clients with accurate and actionable intelligence on COVID-19 preparedness and response as quickly as possible. Every day, our experts in healthcare strategy, finance, operations, and technology are sharing tactical, real-world approaches to help mitigate the effects of this crisis.
Preventing contaminated medical devices in the context of COVID-19
According to the WHO COVID-19 information center: “People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets."11
In this context, patients infected with COVID-19 which undergo exams in medical devices might transmit the disease via contamination of the systems surfaces and therefore disinfecting the systems after each patient is recommended.
1 This pathway is for illustration purposes only.
2 Currently for Research Use Only (RUO). Siemens Healthineers is pursuing FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and WHO Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL) certification.
3 Available in limited quantities in April 2020.
4 Visit fast-trackdiagnostics.com for a list of compatible instruments. Customers are responsible for validating the assay on instruments listed in the compatibility list.
5 In development; not available for sale. Future availability cannot be guaranteed.
6 Product availability may vary from country to country and is subject to varying regulatory requirements.
7 Walker et al.: Imaging Pulmonary Infection: Classic Signs and Patterns AJR:202, March 2014
8 Pan et al. Intensive Care Med 2020;46:573-575; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-020-05964-0
9 Gildea et al. J Bronchol Intervent Pulmonol 2020;27:153-155; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32209919
10 With other appropriately trained personnel in the room to position patient and manually start the scan.
11 See Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19), https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses, 26th March 2020
Due to high demand, availability in certain regions may be affected, please contact your local Siemens Healthineers representative for details.