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How COVID-19 led to OEM service advancements

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | August 09, 2021
Parts And Service
From the August 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Even manufacturers that saw high demand during the pandemic will be continuing their remote collaborations with customers.

David Karchner, senior director of marketing for North America operating room, patient monitoring and enterprise services for Dräger, which manufactures ventilators and anesthesia machines, said the integration of online collaboration platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams into their services will be the largest long-term benefit to their clients.

“The pandemic created a scenario where the demand for Dräger's services and solutions were higher than ever at a time where face-to-face interaction was being asked to be kept at a minimum,” Karchner said. “Dräger invested heavily in digital tools and regional remote clinical training hubs for implementations and ongoing training, and our sales and service teams utilized these platforms for consultations. The long-term customer intimacy benefits of these investments will continue long after the pandemic.”

Remote monitoring expands
Remote monitoring of equipment has long been touted by manufacturers, and the pandemic has prompted further adoption of the technology.

GE Healthcare’s remote monitoring technologies, such as Tube Watch, which can help predict an impending tube failure for CT scanners, and OnWatch, which monitors critical subsystem elements within imaging equipment, as well as Imaging Insights, which uses data to optimize workflow and increase performance, were heavily utilized during the pandemic.

“These were in the works before the pandemic but all of these have taken on new meaning post pandemic,” said Todd Brown, president of CoRE Partnerships & Service Growth for the U.S. and Canada with GE Healthcare.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also playing a role in remote monitoring. Canon Medical has partnered with a company called Glassbeam, using its Clinsights product to provide predictive service analytics and learning algorithms that can increase machine uptime and fleetwide operational efficiency.

“Unplanned downtime and suboptimal performance of diagnostic imaging systems can create significant challenges to provider finances, but the introduction of AI is giving them an edge,” said Andrea Hearn, senior life cycle marketing manager at Canon Medical Systems. “Through dashboards and reports from across facilities, vital usage insights are becoming more accessible than ever. I think that trend will continue into the future, with proactive maintenance alerts playing a bigger role in service decisions. This data could even facilitate benchmarking against other organizations to identify opportunities for greater efficiency.”

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