How to improve quality of life?
By improving access to healthcare, innovations, and AI support for clinical decision-making
Healthcare around the world is facing critical challenges. Every two seconds, someone aged 30 to 70 dies prematurely from a non-communicable disease – cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, or cancer. Meanwhile, more than 1.6 billion people live in fragile settings that present a significant challenge to global health. In general, the global delivery of healthcare is not always consistent, and in many cases not in line with best practices, both within and between countries. Our commitment to sustainability requires measures aimed at improving access and innovation so as to enable healthcare for everyone, everywhere.
Therefore, we are committed to improving access and innovation in healthcare. Besides making direct improvements, we achieve this through synergic measures involving the use of responsible digitalization and AI, in our leading efforts in personalized medicine, preventive care, quality, safety, and in partnerships. Integrated coordination of these six connected fields allows us to leverage our impact in terms of sustainability.
Siemens Healthineers already has a significant and measurable impact when it comes to improving access and innovation in healthcare. We will actively continue our commitment to the healthcare sector and all of society, every day, for the current generation and those yet to come.
Improve access to care
With at least 50% of the world’s population having no access to safe, affordable, and timely healthcare services1, we are committed to improving access to care by increasing the availability of our solutions in underserved countries2. Siemens Healthineers is dedicated to preserving and improving health by enabling healthcare providers to deliver high-value care and increase access for patients. Access to care strongly depends on the availability, accessibility, and affordability of healthcare services and products. By installing and maintaining Imaging and Advanced Therapies equipment, and by providing diagnostic tests, we continuously enable access to care. Complementary training supports high quality standards in the provision of services.
Virtual training hours using digital platforms
For example, in 2019, we completed 28,000 of virtual training hours for employees and customers in underserved countries using digital platforms. In India, we doubled the number of training programs completed virtually within seven months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, we are installing more than 100 laboratory diagnostic systems across Ethiopia, with 70% located in communities that previously had no access to laboratory diagnostic services.
Considering that access to care is an essential component of sustainable development and the first step toward good health and well-being, these efforts contribute to UN SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-being”. We are committed to sustainably increasing access to care as an industry leader and dependable partner, thereby also complying with UN SDG 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”.
Innovate through responsible digitalization and AI
We leverage innovation through responsible digitalization and AI, both to improve the quality of care for individuals and to streamline efficiencies at all levels within the healthcare delivery system. New AI-based approaches generate valuable individualized patient insights and lead to more targeted and personalized patient interventions, while enabling delivery of high-quality care to remote and underserved regions of the world.
Innovation, the transformation of ideas into new or improved products and processes, has been a core driver of Siemens Healthineers since 1896. As the world’s ability to generate and process increasing volumes of granular data grows, we work to provide data-driven innovative digital products, and deploy remotely-controlled devices in order to bring our digital products and solutions to regions where access and expertise are lacking. Through close collaboration with our clinical partners, we maintain a high level of data privacy and cybersecurity, while using personal data responsibly and ethically.
Combining the strengths of humans and machines
Advances in digital connectivity have increased our ability to exchange and combine data from various sensors and systems. Combining the strengths of humans and machines enables tasks to be completed more comfortably, more easily, more accurately, and potentially with less risk. For instance, at Siemens Healthineers we are building a portfolio of remote controlled devices such as a Corindus endovascular robot, with the goal of shortening times to treatment for emergency medical events such as heart attacks and strokes, and expanding access to high-level care for geographically constrained and underserved patient populations.
We are committed to building our AI-based digital portfolio in order to personalize healthcare delivery and increase the number of remote controlled devices, thereby contributing to UN SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-being” and UN SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”.
Each person is unique, and every treatment should be tailored to the patient’s specific needs, lifestyle, and medical history. In this sense, a precise understanding of a patient’s condition is the most effective way to deliver outcomes favorable to all stakeholders. The goal of personalized healthcare is to provide the right treatment at the right time for each patient. Tailoring treatment starts with a highly specific diagnosis without unwarranted variation, after which all relevant patient-specific information and insights are incorporated to enable a holistic understanding of the individual. These unique characteristics determine the personalization of treatment.
Targeted therapy planning
For example, at Siemens Healthineers, the development of the SOMATOM go.Open Pro CT scanner reflects how unwarranted variations during a scan are reduced. The scanner intelligently adapts to the patient’s breathing in real time, potentially allowing more targeted planning of subsequent radiation therapy. With regard to patient-specific information, Siemens Healthineers offers the NEO molecular diagnostics platform for tumor profiling to support targeted treatment decisions for cancer patients. We are committed to making personalized healthcare one of the key value promises associated with many of the products offered by Siemens Healthineers, thereby contributing to UN SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-being”.
Transition toward preventive care
Traditionally, healthcare systems have been designed on a reactive basis, with a focus on diagnosing and treating illnesses rather than helping to prevent the onset of disease. To sustainably meet the needs of future populations, this reactive approach must transition to a preventive care approach. A preventive model focuses on avoiding the development of disease before symptoms or life-threatening events occur. This allows for timely and precise treatment as well as effective management of chronic diseases. Siemens Healthineers actively promotes awareness of early diagnosis and disease prevention, offering dedicated solutions in both in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostics supported by innovative AI algorithms.
Intervention before damage occurs
For example, our low-dose CT imaging used in lung cancer screening programs helps to diagnose earlier, enabling providers to shift their focus from treating late-stage lung cancer to prevention. Supporting our scanning solution, our AI Rad Companion Chest can also uncover additional clinically relevant information not limited to the scan’s primary focus. In in-vitro diagnostics, the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF) Test3 is a routine blood test yielding a quantitative score correlated to liver fibrosis severity. The ELF Test can be used as a prognostic marker to help assess the likelihood of progression to cirrhosis and liver-related clinical events, allowing clinicians to potentially intervene before significant damage occurs. We are committed to actively promoting awareness of early diagnosis and disease prevention, thereby contributing to UN SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-being”.
Leverage partnerships for innovation
Siemens Healthineers is dedicated to preserving and improving health by enabling healthcare providers to deliver high-value care and increase access for patients through innovations in healthcare. The breadth and depth of patient needs and regional differences means that innovative solutions cannot be found alone. They require contributions from many different specialties and diverse research before becoming a viable product.
Global collaboration network
At Siemens Healthineers we have therefore established a powerful global collaboration network with leading clinical and academic partners to drive innovation, translation and testing of new products together with us. Many of these partnerships span over a decade. They are supported by a large network of collaboration scientists. Thereby, we are contributing to UN SDG 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”.
Guarantee product quality, safety, and design of new innovations
The Principle “We don’t compromise on quality” is deeply anchored in our corporate culture, and drives the development of sustainable and innovative solutions and services designed to boost the affordability, availability and acceptability of healthcare while minimizing risk to patients from equipment and solutions. Siemens Healthineers develops solutions aimed at adapting treatments to individual patient characteristics, yielding benefits such as lower X-ray doses without compromising on diagnosis and therapy. This approach leads to the best possible diagnosis for the patient with the lowest possible risk.
Right treatment at the right time
This patient-centered approach relies on well-designed, safe, and compliant products and services to allow our customers to optimize their clinical operations and provide the right treatment at the right time for every patient. Customer satisfaction is therefore key, and regular surveys and continuous dialogue help us to learn more about our customers’ needs. In this context, we rely on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as an instrument to measure customer satisfaction and the quality of our partnerships. We are committed to continuously innovating safe and sustainable products and services for our customers and patients, thereby contributing to UN SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-being”.