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Siemens and University Hospitals announce 10-year partnership

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | May 13, 2024
Business Affairs MRI
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Courtesy: University Circle
Siemens Healthineers and University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland announced a 10-year collaboration on Tuesday with the goal of enhancing the health system's oncology, cardiovascular, and neurovascular care. This builds upon their 40-year history of working together.

"We are partnering with Siemens to increase efficiency and value while being a premiere destination for patients to receive care," Dr. Donna Plecha, chair of the department of radiology at University Hospitals, told HCB News. "We plan to maximize the impact of integrating technologies to guide complex interventions."

UH is already involved with Siemens on a research collaboration that’s looking at the MAGNETOM Free.Max MR scanner, which requires less than one liter of helium. The UH team will explore targeted projects around prostate, breast, and neuro/intervention research in low-field MR.
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"The prostate and breast projects focus on developing and applying MR Fingerprinting, which was discovered at our site, to low-field MR," Dr. Leonardo Kayat Bittencourt, vice chair of innovations in the department of radiology at UH, explained. "We plan to leverage the technique for screening and treatment monitoring in underserved populations."

He added that the neuro/intervention project will leverage Free.Max to perform lumbar puncture procedures. Later they plan to develop it to have robotic-guidance capabilities.

As part of this new collaboration, UH will purchase PET/CT scanners and a fleet of MR scanners for its neurology department. The PET/CTs will be used to confirm the presence of amyloid plaques in patients who are suspected of having Alzheimer's disease.

The patients will be given emerging therapeutic drugs and the MR exams will be used to monitor that treatment. UH also has plans to install an angiography system geared toward interventional neurology procedures and stroke treatments on its main campus.

For cancer care, UH will install PET/CT scanners at the UH Seidman Cancer Center and Varian will provide them with linear accelerators. The PET/CTs will be used to allow for theranostics, which is a practice that lets clinicians diagnose some forms of cancer with one radiopharmaceutical and treat with a similar therapeutic agent.

UH's radiopharmacy is operated by PETNET Solutions Inc., which is a Siemens' company, and it was among the first to adopt a radiopharmaceutical used in theranostics to detect advanced prostate cancer.

CT and angiography systems will be installed at the UH Cleveland Medical Center to assist with interventional radiology. The health system hopes these technologies will improve diagnosis and treatment with targeted ablations and the delivery of therapy agents.

The UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute will receive the world's first clinically-available photon-counting CT and a dual-source CT. This is an expansion of a 2019 agreement between UH and Siemens that provided its Center for Advanced Heart & Vascular Care with CT, MR, and hybrid operating room technology.

At the time, it became one of the first facilities to collocate an MR, CT, and a robotically-operated cardiac catheterization lab with surgical capabilities in the same suite. As part of this new agreement, it will also get angiography systems to be used for image-guided cardiology interventions.

“Part of this relationship is based on establishing a sustainable financial foundation for our capital-intensive equipment, keeping our technology current," said Plecha. "We have established mid- to long-term desired strategic outcomes for our organization and community to enhance care delivery in radiology, cardiovascular, neurovascular, and cancer care."

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