by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | December 13, 2017
At RSNA, HCB News sat down with David Pacitti, President of Siemens Medical Solutions USA and head of Siemens Healthineers North America, to discuss topics that included the latest innovations on the show floor, the emerging applications of artificial intelligence, and the importance of customizable solutions and service models for providers trying to compete in a value-based era.
HCB News: How is this year’s RSNA meeting different for Siemens Healthineers from last year’s?
A lot of technology and innovations. We received FDA clearance a couple months ago for the MAGNETOM Terra, the first-ever 7 Tesla MR cleared for clinical use, so we're really excited about that. We're very dedicated to the MR field and having a clinical 7 Tesla - I don't think we originally thought it would be in this timeframe, so it's exciting.
We have a lot of other innovations out on the exhibit floor, as well. The MAGNETOM Vida, our new 3T MR, helps with the focus on workflow optimization and reducing unnecessary variation - be it patient movement or variation in anatomical size, and even user variation – it’s designed to help mitigate that.
HCB News: The 7 Tesla MR is pretty exciting. I've seen a lot of people sort of crowding around it on the exhibit floor.
Yes, and RSNA obviously has that heavy focus on technology, but we're also excited this year about the innovative collaboration agreements and research partnerships we're forging with customers. We've announced long-term collaboration agreements and research partnerships with, respectively, Houston Methodist and Northwell Health that are aimed at improving outcomes, and these relationships are very transformative for us. I would say arguably that they are as innovative as the technology, although our R&D people may disagree with me (laughs).
HCB News: I feel like two things I can't escape from at RSNA this year are AI and 3-D printing. How is Siemens Healthineers engaging in the AI space?
I often think it's going to be one of those terms like we heard years ago with big data, which can mean many different things to different people, but we are in a very strong patient position with over 400 patents that relate to machine learning, 75 basic research patents in the area of deep learning, and more than 30 AI-based applications, so we're in good shape there. The question is: what do we do with the secret sauce that we think we have?
A lot of it should be around improving workflow and optimizing procedures, optimizing patient care. We actually have many AI applications in our equipment today, in fact; even in our interventional area, we have image guidance that has AI built into it. We launched a CT overlay that has AI embedded in it. The more of this deep learning we have and algorithms we build, it's all about improving throughput and outcomes and getting patients out of the hospital sooner.