Mr K Venkatnarayanan, Head of Service, Siemens Healthcare, India
In the current healthcare scenario, after-sales service plays a vital role while buying any medical technology equipment. It is the biggest influencer for a clinician today to decide on his investments. For any diagnostic center or healthcare provider, turning away patients is undesirable and one of the causes of this situation is a ‘machine breakdown'. This is especially critical in high end equipments such as CT Scanner, MRI Scanner, Cath lab or automated laboratory equipments.
How quickly can the machine be up and running was the concern of the past. How well in advance a clinician would know the problem with his system to avoid a major crisis, is the solution of today and tomorrow. The sheer possibility of getting a pre-alert of a fault is a game-changer. This is digitalization in service.
Remote access of equipments is becoming a part in today's connected world and is used reactively as well as proactively. In the reactive mode it is used to diagnose and fix problems when the customer reports a problem and before an engineer can reach the customer place.
In the proactive mode, the equipment keeps informing deviation in performance as and when it occurs while it is in use at the customer site. High end equipments are equipped with this capability to relay critical deviation in performance parameters or errors to a central server of the medical equipment, which is monitored centrally by technical experts of the company. Sitting in Mumbai, these experts can remotely access, for example, an MRI system in Coimbatore, Hubli or anywhere in India and guide the technologist at the customer site what does the alert mean and what needs to be done.
So by remote access a possible major crisis can be prevented. The hospital or diagnostic center definitely will not have to cancel any patient appointments. It is also possible to remotely identify spare part failure under certain circumstances and the same can be ordered by the customer care center so that the engineer can actually arrive at the site with the spare part.