I began leading the global Laboratory Diagnostics business for Siemens Healthineers in February 2018. Prior to that, I was president of Abbott’s Vascular division and an executive officer of the company.
My degrees are all from the University of California at Berkeley. I hold BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Theoretical Mechanics.
I am an avid reader and enjoy spending time with family and friends.
Today the clinical laboratory industry is facing both regulatory and reimbursement challenges. How do these impact Siemens Healthineers and its customers? Regardless of the instrument or offering, Siemens Healthineers is focused on outcomes that matter most to our customers and being a valuable partner to them on that journey. We aim to serve as a trusted partner for laboratories worldwide by closely observing laboratory trends and understanding our customers’ pain points. With this information we are able to respond through continuous investment in technology and innovation. The result is a wide range of options that fulfill and often anticipate the needs of laboratories worldwide.
Another challenge the industry faces is the aging lab workforce and the resulting shortage of skilled laboratorians. How can current and future technologies address this problem? The staffing shortage and aging population have been challenges for quite some time. These challenges equate to an increasing workload—without sacrificing turnaround time—with less financial and staffing support. Recognizing the impending challenges, we began rolling out automated solutions with varying capabilities to support laboratories with their growing operations, with workflow efficiencies and automations at several levels: automation within the analyzer environment; in multidisciplinary solutions; and managing data, inventory, processes, and connectivity.
Total laboratory automation can be a significant investment to undertake at one time, however, so we’ve also deployed a number of resources and scalable solutions to transition laboratories into automation. Innovative instrument features on our Atellica Solution, such as automated quality control and calibration, sophisticated vision systems, intelligent sample management and test scheduling, and bidirectional magnetic sample transport technology, help labs optimize the workloads of highly skilled operators. Less hands-on time for routine tasks maximizes existing resources to help refocus skilled attention in higher-value activities in the lab, and may reduce the need for additional operators as laboratory operations grow.
Please describe the career path that has led you to your current position at Siemens Healthineers. Prior to my current role as President of the Laboratory Diagnostics business for Siemens Healthineers, I was president of Abbott’s Vascular division and executive officer of the company. My 10-year career with Abbott comprised a variety of global leadership roles, including president (and corporate officer) of the molecular diagnostics division, divisional vice president, and general manager of Ibis Biosciences, and several commercial leadership positions across mature and emerging markets.
Earlier in my career I held positions at Amgen, where I led process improvement initiatives, and at McKinsey, where I worked with a range of clients in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Before that, I was a scientist in the computational physics group at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
My experience in the medical technology field, and in the areas of strategy, sales, operations and R&D, have equipped me well for the role of overseeing and driving strategy, operations, R&D, and sales and marketing globally for the Laboratory Diagnostics business area of Siemens Healthineers.
What skills, professional, interpersonal, or otherwise, are vital for a position like yours? My position requires extensive cross-functional operational experience, and a deep understanding of the clinical laboratory space, the instrument and assay technologies, and the dynamics of the healthcare market worldwide.
From a personal perspective, it requires the ability to align a large and globally distributed organization toward a common goal and genuinely inspire others to do their best. I am fortunate that the business principles at Siemens Healthineers are aligned with my own personal principles, and that I can count on professional, dedicated people who love what they do and are proud of the company they work for.
What role do you play in managing product launches? Product launches are a key area of focus and responsibility for me. I oversee all aspects of product launches—whether instrument, assay, automation, or IT—from the points of conception and R&D, to marketing and sales, to pricing, to implementation and service.
In the case of Atellica Solution, we think that we have brought to the market a true game-changer, which requires a new way of selling, implementing and integrating into our customers’ labs. As such, operationalizing new approaches has been instrumental to drive preference and adoption, and to drive successful installations and delight laboratory customers. Our customers emcompass reference labs, hospitals, healthcare networks, and teaching hospitals, all with different priorities and business objectives. From this perspective, the enablement of the sales force and the readiness of the implementation and service organization are continuous areas of investment and focus for our organization.
At the recent AACC conference, Siemens showcased its digitalization offerings alongside the Atellica Solution. How is the diagnostic community responding to these offerings? Clinical laboratories must meet greater testing demands, improve efficiency, and deliver reliable, high-quality results, while facing an increasing shortage of skilled employees and growing budget constraints. To meet their equipment needs, labs are tending to purchase total solutions from a single trusted partner. Total solutions encompass a variety of offerings, including equipment for sample management, a broad menu of assays, IVD analyzers, and automation systems, all supported by digitalization, as well as IT and informatics. IT offerings from Siemens Healthineers leverage expertise, software, artificial intelligence, and open connectivity for solutions labs need to their optimize operations.
Further, as the shortage of skilled clinical laboratory workers continues to increase, the Atellica Solution is proving to be an attractive asset for laboratories seeking less hands-on time for maintenance and routine tasks. Early adopters have reported that their workflow and performance study results exceeded key performance indicators affecting their workflows—including turnaround time, throughput, operator hands-on time with system maintenance, and quality control (QC), as well as assay performance.
What further new solutions will Siemens be offering to the clinical laboratory community in the fourth quarter or next year? For Q4, Siemens Healthineers will continue to introduce innovative new laboratory tests. With nearly 160 chemistry and immunoassays available (availability varies by country), and over 45 more in development, Atellica Solution offers proven detection technologies with strong precision and accuracy. Our high-sensitivity troponin assays can detect lower levels of troponin compared to conventional assays, with a sensitivity comparable to detecting a single shake of salt in an Olympic-size swimming pool. Troponin levels indicate damage to the heart muscle, and greater precision measures slight, yet critical changes, so physicians can triage patients sooner. The ADVIA Centaur TNIH and Atellica IM TnIH assays enable fast results and earlier diagnosis for heart attack patients, and they are now available in the United States, our largest market.