Siemens Healthineers Digital Ecosystem Drives Digitalization of Healthcare

image courtesy: Siemens Healthineers

Digitalization in healthcare is expected to drive the much-needed change towards widespread value-based care and dramatically reduced costs. Deep insights, i.e. into the clinical or operational performance of a healthcare facility, are essential for the digital transformation of healthcare. At the 16th Hospital Management Asia 2017 held in Manila, Philippines, Siemens Healthineers showcased its Digital Ecosystem portfolio. With its Digital Ecosystem, Siemens Healthineers plans to contribute to value-based healthcare by enabling fast, simple and seamless interaction between providers of data and knowledge.

“We believe that digitalization and the associated networking of healthcare providers is essential for the transformation to value-based healthcare. With the Siemens Healthineers Digital Ecosystem, we are providing our customers with much deeper insights than previously possible into the key components that create both clinical and operational value.” commented Elisabeth Staudinger, President-Asia Pacific, Siemens Healthineers.

The Siemens Healthineers Digital Ecosystem is based on the teamplay1 cloud-based network, which has been certified for its handling of data privacy2 and is already in use at hundreds of customer sites. It brings together a number of additional platforms such as LifeNet and PEPconnect from Siemens Healthineers.

teamplay: the cloud-based network

The cloud-based network teamplay, makes it possible to assess the capacity utilization of imaging devices, the various work sequences and individual examinations in an uncomplicated and easy-to-follow way that meets this requirement. Teamplay’s protocol function makes it easier to combine, process and analyze protocols. Protocols from selected Siemens computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices can in future be compared, commented on and archived. The operating concept of teamplay is designed around the users’ intuitive understanding, which means no training is needed to be able to work with the platform. The network teamplay can be called up and used on tablets, laptops and desktop PCs.

Before the protocols are analyzed, the Usage and Dose offerings help prepare the huge volumes of incoming data on a single platform so the analysis can be performed at a glance. Usage provides an overview of the performance data from the imaging modalities such as CT or MRI, including a daily usage report. This records the number of examinations per hour, the time and nature of the examination, total capacity utilization for the device and the parties providing treatment, as well as the time it takes to move from one patient to the next. This knowledge helps optimize hospital work sequences and employee workloads, cut waiting times for patients and lastingly reduce costs.

Another critical parameter in radiology departments is the volume of ionizing radiation needed. teamplay looks after this with its Dose offering, which monitors the radiation dose. In addition to generating a precise listing of the doses applied, it’s also possible to compare current values against national reference values and dose values from other facilities and from similar examinations. In this way, teamplay helps optimizing the dose used for every patient, their examination and diagnosis.

PEPconnect: online learning platform

Siemens Healthineers has recently expanded its online learning platform PEPconnect3 (Personalized Education Plan) with new learning modules for medical imaging. Physicians and medical technology assistants can now use PEPconnect to access training courses on Siemens Healthineers systems to a broad portfolio of over 7,000 learning activities across Medical Imaging and Therapy, Laboratory Diagnostics, Point of Care, Molecular and General Healthcare, in up to seven languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean and Japanese). With optimized technology and increased search capabilities, PEPconnect allows customers to access education and real-time performance support virtually anytime, anywhere, and on any device, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Users can also construct a learning experience personalized to their needs and share their learning experience with others — whenever and wherever they need it.

LifeNet: customer portal providing service information

LifeNet4 is a web-based customer portal for managing the fleet of Siemens Healthineers systems at clinical facilities. The new LifeNet 2.0 eService Portal, comes with a completely revised user interface for easier operation and understanding. Additionally, the new portal is now optimized for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, on which fleet managers can log in with their personal access data to look at service information. A real-time status display provides a view of system availability, as well as a view of open service tickets with new services tickets being transmitted directly to the appropriate Customer Care Center at Siemens Healthineers. The appointment view provides an overview of all upcoming maintenance work and upgrades for the systems and if necessary a postponement can be initiated. A new function in LifeNet 2.0 makes it possible to plan maintenance requirements not just months ahead, but a whole year in advance.

Cinematic Rendering

Cinematic VRT, developed by Siemens Healthineers, uses raw data from CT and MRI scans to create hyper-realistic anatomical images. In other words, Cinematic VRT generates photorealistic images by calculating realistic lighting effects. In this way, even complex effects such as ambient occlusion can be modeled. For instance, the depth of a fracture is fed into the calculations. The deeper the fracture, the less light is able to penetrate, resulting in a range of shadows. The result is an almost perfect depiction of fractures, ivory-colored bones, and clearly defined organs and blood vessels ─ easily discernible from each other thanks to the inclusion of shadows and depth. The images can be rotated on the screen as desired or zoomed into for greater detail. The syngo.via VB20 platform brings Cinematic VRT to the monitor, allowing photorealistic clinical images to be generated from any CT or MRI scan – available to the operator with just one click.

1 teamplay is not yet commercially available in some countries. No undertakings can be given as to its future availability due to the special legal provisions pertaining to medical devices. More detailed information can be obtained from the relevant local Siemens organization.

2 teamplay – CORE applications: teamplay Dose, teamplay Usage and teamplay Protocols – has been awarded with the European Privacy Seal and the German “Seal of Privacy for IT products” of the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection in Schleswig-Holstein (ULD).

3 PEPconnect is not available in all countries. More detailed information can be obtained from the relevant local Siemens organization.

4LifeNet is not available in all countries. More detailed information can be obtained from the relevant local Siemens organization.

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