Ladies and Gentlemen,
Even though we are already seeing some progress in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall situation remains very challenging. In parallel with the measures put forward by governments and healthcare providers to prevent further infections, build up capacity to diagnose, and provide treatment for Covid-19 patients, we are also determinedly increasing our efforts. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the entire Siemens Healthineers team as well as to all our partners for how we are coping with the situation under these unprecedented circumstances. At the moment, almost everything we do is tied to one goal: helping in the crisis wherever we can!
First, we are doing everything we can to meet the growing demand for CT scanners, x-ray equipment, ultrasound devices as well as blood gas analysis systems, and critical laboratory diagnostic tests used to accompany and manage the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Second, we are contributing to the great need for Covid-19 related testing around the world. We recently achieved an important milestone in the provision of more tests by engaging the World Health Organization (WHO) and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency authorization of our test kit, which helps to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus1. Further, we are developing a SARS CoV-2 serology assay to detect IgM and IgG antibodies in blood, helping to indicate whether a person has developed immunity against SARS-CoV-2 even if they were asymptomatic or never diagnosed with the disease.
Third, we have state-of-the-art digital infrastructure solutions in place that enable us to provide support in local hospitals without our colleagues having to be physically present. With our so-called “smart remote service network” our service colleagues can perform online remote diagnoses and software updates on our devices. With our remote scanning assistance our medical specialists are able to access radiological systems from any location to provide support to the personnel using the system, particularly for complicated exams. It is this “being available without being present on location” that renders our know-how accessible nearly everywhere and helps prevent medical personnel from becoming infected. This is one of our contributions to help stabilize healthcare systems and thus “flatten the curve.”
An application for telemonitoring of Covid-19 patients, which we offer together with the "Austrian Institute of Technology", is going in the same direction. This application enables people suspected of having Covid-19 to avoid visiting medical facilities. Vital parameters such as body temperature and oxygen saturation, as well as other information are sent to the attending medical facility via smartphone or PC, so they can act quickly if the symptoms change. Our application aims to reduce contact points and to help relieve the burden on health authorities, hospitals, emergency rooms, and outpatient medical facilities.
Fourth, we are also working on an addition to our AI-Rad Companion product family to help further reduce the workload of clinical staff in hospitals. We are developing a new algorithm for this to help identify Covid-19 cases easily on CT scans, and to help mark and quantify the extent of lung damage much faster. This solution is currently undergoing initial clinical validation. We are working hard to secure approval by the respective authorities as quickly as possible.
Fifth, we offer solutions in which CT scanners are installed in containers for mobile use, among other things, to enhance the capacity for scanning of Covid-19 patients as quickly as possible and independently of existing infrastructures. We used these solutions to help hospitals worldwide deal with sharp upturn in the need for scanning capacity in just a few weeks.
These are but a few examples that illustrate how the 53,000 Siemens Healthineers colleagues are sparing no effort and working wherever and however they can to provide clinical experts with the help and technical solutions they need in their fight against Covid-19.
Please stay safe and stay healthy,
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