Providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary solutions for the clinical laboratory

Aug. 24, 2016
Franz Walt President, Laboratory Diagnostics,Siemens Healthineers


I’ve been with Siemens since January 2012, and I am currently president of Laboratory Diagnostics, responsible for global P&L and the portfolio. I have more than 27 years of experience in healthcare and have worked in both country and headquarters organizations in Asia, the Pacific region,
Europe, and the United States.

I have an MBA degree from City University in
Bellevue, Washington. I’ve also completed postgraduate studies in executive-education programs at such institutions as Columbia University, the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, the London Business School, and INSEAD Business School in
Fontainebleau, France.

Two of my greatest passions are photography and travel. I’m a very visual person, and I like to take pictures of my family, the outdoors, and wildlife. Also, I love to travel and have lived all over the world. For me, the best part about traveling is the journey: to see new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. I also enjoy socializing with friends and sharing good food and wine!

If you were explaining Siemens Healthineers to someone who is not familiar with the organization, how would you characterize its primary areas of expertise? Siemens Healthcare, now known as Siemens Healthineers, is a leading global healthcare company that provides both in vivo and in vitro diagnostic solutions to customers to help them affordably deliver high-quality patient care. Within Laboratory Diagnostics, this means providing reliable and accurate solutions that help laboratories of all sizes enhance their business and clinical outcomes.

What are the major categories of solutions that the company provides for its clinical laboratory customers? Siemens Healthineers Laboratory Diagnostics provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary solutions to our clinical laboratory customers in conjunction with automation, informatics, and total laboratory consulting services. Our portfolio provides a broad spectrum of immunoassay, chemistry, hematology, hemostasis, urinalysis, and specialty testing solutions.

What was the purpose of the recent rebranding, and what is conveyed by the new name? In October 2015, we became a company within a company, which affords us the ability to operate more independently and provides us with the flexibility to respond faster to evolving market dynamics. Our new name reflects the company’s strength in healthcare, our pioneering spirit, and our focus on delivering engineering excellence and value.

Last month at AACC, the company introduced the Atellica Solution*. Please describe this new technology and how it will impact the clinical lab. Siemens Healthineers engineered the Atellica Solution based on extensive market research and input from hundreds of our customers. The result is a highly flexible immunoassay and clinical chemistry solution designed to deliver control and simplicity, so our customers can focus on driving better business and clinical outcomes and spend less time managing operations.

One of the most exciting features of the Atellica Solution is its patented bidirectional magnetic sample-transport technology that is 10 times faster than conventional conveyors. It also has a multicamera vision system and intelligent sample routing for independent control over every sample and can be used as a stand-alone system or combined. It is scalable up to 10 components with more than 300 customizable configurations.*

This new lab solution is automation-ready and can be connected to Aptio Automation for a multidisciplinary offering. Also, the same reagents can be used across configurations and locations to simplify lab operations, streamline inventory control, and help ensure consistent testing results.

What are some of the other solutions that attracted the attention of lab leaders at AACC? Attendees were also very interested in our Sysmex CS Hemostasis System portfolio, which includes the Sysmex CS-2500 System, now available in the U.S. This mid-volume solution leverages globally proven simultaneous multiwavelength PSI technology, helping labs to raise the quality of test results, achieve cost-effective method consolidation, simplify operations, and increase diagnostic confidence.

They also were keen to learn more about our next-generation process manager, which lets laboratories manage alerts, remotely control instruments, and monitor testing progress and onboard inventory, all from one screen.

Also, the RAPIDComm 6.0 Data Management System was of great interest to point-of-care customers. This solution offers centralized management of point-of-care testing through a single, customizable interface. Regardless of a program’s size or location, this solution can help streamline workflow, reduce costs, and improve patient care.

The shift from volume-based to value-based reimbursement is having significant consequences for the clinical lab. How do Siemens Healthineers solutions address that? We understand the cost pressures that are facing our customers and are focused on providing solutions designed to help laboratories conduct testing efficiently and cost-effectively.

Automation plays a critical role in helping laboratories make workflow more efficient, improve turnaround time and predictability, reduce errors, and better utilize their staffing resources. With the right infrastructure and software behind it, automation gives a lab more control over its operations, simplifies lab processes, and improves business and clinical outcomes.

Siemens Healthineers is a global leader in total laboratory automation, and we have helped laboratories worldwide to implement intelligent solutions approximately 1,500** times. We are committed to partnering with our customers to make their automation journey as seamless and successful as possible.

More broadly, what effect is the philosophical shift from treating illness to managing health having on labs, and on industry leaders such as Siemens Healthineers who serve them? Laboratory diagnostics can be an incredibly cost-efficient tool for managing health. In fact, more than 70 percent of medical decisions are based on laboratory results, yet lab diagnostics accounts for only two to three percent of healthcare costs, so we are part of the solution.

As the shift from treating illness to managing health continues, customers will increasingly look to laboratory diagnostic tools, such as the Atellica Solution*, that are designed to deliver control, simplicity, and better business and clinical outcomes.

* Products are under FDA review. Not available for sale. Any features listed are part of the development design goals. Future availability cannot be guaranteed. ** Source: Siemens Healthcare Diagnotics shipment and orders reports. March 2016.

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