The Essen University Medicine, Germany’s leading hospital company for digitalized medicine, and Siemens Healthineers, a world-leading medical technology company, plan to work together to develop the hospital of the future. Both parties signed a partnership agreement with the goal of making innovative medical procedures and applications a part of daily clinical practice. One example is a program based on artificial intelligence to support decision-making along the treatment pathway: The AI-Pathway Companion1 from Siemens Healthineers. Based on data integration from various clinically relevant data sources, such as diagnostic imaging and In-vitro-tests, the AI-Pathway Companion provides physicians on interdisciplinary boards with the treatment status of the patient in question and offers suggestions for further steps along clinical guidelines. It thus accompanies patients on their whole diagnose and treatment process.
The parties would also like to work together in the field of telemedicine. The aim is to provide better at-home care for patients with chronic disorders of the lung and the cardiovascular system, so they will have to travel to the hospital only when medically necessary. The better utilization of clinical devices like ultrasound systems is another area for collaboration between the parties. The aim of the digital fleet management is to make it easier for physicians and staff to get the best out of the ultrasound systems. The parties also perceive major opportunities to achieve lasting improvements in other areas of clinical care by making use of digital solutions and procedures. Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers emphasizes: “We’re taking our long-standing collaboration with the University Hospital to a new level and are very pleased to be working together on the pathway to the Smart Hospital. With this cooperation we are driving significant developments, while regular discussions provide both sides with valuable experience, which we can incorporate directly into our products and solutions.”
The two parties aim to share their experiences in day-to-day clinical activities and technical developments with each other and refine the concept as they go. As the hospital of the future, the “Smart Hospital” will allow both patients and employees to achieve tangible benefits from the opportunities that digitalization offers. “Medicine is experiencing the greatest transformation in its history,” says Professor Jochen A. Werner, CEO of Universitätsmedizin Essen. “The hospital of the future will be a digitalized, innovative, and process-optimized steering platform that will function much more efficiently and be far more networked than at present, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence. It places an even firmer focus on people and their well-being, whether as patients, dependents, or employees. With its Smart Hospital strategy, Universitätsmedizin Essen understands that digitalization in healthcare is an all-encompassing process. To implement this vision of an innovative, yet empathetic healthcare system of the future, we need strong partners that share our outlook. We’re therefore very happy to be working alongside Siemens Healthineers on specific projects to implement the next milestones on the pathway to the Smart Hospital.”
“Digitalization and utilization of artificial intelligence in medicine are significantly more challenging than in other areas”, says Bernd Ohnesorge, President of the region Europe, Middle East and Africa at Siemens Healthineers. “Despite this, the German health sector with its close linking of top-class treatment and innovative medical technology offers great opportunities for successful digitalization. The extensive cooperation with Essen University Medicine connects innovation in diagnostic imaging, in-vitro and molecular diagnostics with the digitalization and optimization of the patient’s pathway. This is an important step for us and a blueprint for future projects.”
Thorsten Kaatze, vice-chairman of the board of Universitätsmedizin Essen, underlines the connection between digitalization and profitability: “We focus our investments in digital projects and strategic partnership to bring us closer to our goal of the Smart Hospital. The cooperation with Siemens Healthineers will be a valuable contribution to continue offering top-class clinical services to our patients and to further advance our role as the leading healthcare provider in the third largest conurbation in Europe.”
AI-Pathway Companion is currently under development. It is not for sale in the U.S., EU and other countries and its future availability cannot be guaranteed. AI Pathway Companion does not yet fulfill all the essential requirements according to the European Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC) and its national implementations.