The economic downturn is forcing hospitals to re-evaluate their equipment priorities: The American Hospital Association reports that 9 of 10 hospitals are cutting back in response to the marked deterioration in the economy, and 7 in 10 hospitals say declining overall financial health will affect their ability to care for their communities. (American Hospital Association, "The Economic Crisis: Ongoing Monitoring of Impact on Hospitals." Results of AHA Rapid Response Survey, August/September 2009. http://www.aha.org/aha/research-and-trends/health-and-hospital-trends/2009.html)
Upgradability, value and overall lower cost of ownership are the cornerstones of the new solutions, which cover Magnetic Resonance (MR), Computed Tomography (CT) and X-ray among others. Additionally, Philips Customer Services and its Healthcare Informatics (HI) business will play an increasing role in assisting hospitals to further drive efficiency gains from their investments. The result is new, advanced health care technologies that will deliver greater benefit to the patient and clinician alike.
"With hospitals more closely scrutinizing their equipment purchases and the business justification for them, Philips has focused on developing innovations that expand clinical capabilities, increase productivity and deliver value to our customers feeling the pinch of the financial recession and credit crisis", stated Steve Rusckowski, executive vice president and chief executive officer, for Philips Healthcare. "Philips will always innovate, but we must also focus on helping customers strike a balance between clinical excellence and cost of patient care. Nobody wins when hospitals have to choose one over the other."
These new offerings range from equipment that can be easily upgraded and fit in half the space, to information management solutions for smaller hospitals that meet the everyday requirements of these facilities. The goal of these systems is to offer choice and flexibility of clinical capabilities at various price points to best satisfy customers' individual needs.
Philips maintains a strong commitment to building innovations that meet the growing demands of radiologists, and the company is introducing advancements in CT that focus on improving dose management, image quality, work flow and efficiency. These new features are available on new CT systems, as well as an upgrade for the current installed base.
Ensuring maximum uptime of interventional X-ray systems is key to maintaining a smooth clinical work flow. For new and existing customers, the Allura Xper FD20 combines a full range of advanced interventional tools and seamless multi-modality catheterization lab integration. It also offers a balance between superb image quality and low X-ray dose during lengthy procedures. The system is upgradable, offering access to the latest clinical and service innovations as part of the lifetime Philips commitment.
Additionally, the Philips Achieva XR is the only magnetic resonance (MR) scanner that can be installed as a 1.5T and upgraded to a 3.0T system. The ability to adopt 3.0T technology via a software and accessories upgrade can help save health care providers between $750.000 and $1 million dollars when compared to taking out an existing system and installing a new scanner.
In addition to upgrades, Philips is also showcasing several new space-saving and cost-effective solutions such as the Essenta DR Compact, a new fully-digital X-ray system that delivers high-quality images with significant price reductions compared to traditional high-end digital radiography (DR) systems. The system can be used for all general radiography examinations and is ideal for mid-sized hospitals, imaging centres, private clinics and orthopaedic clinics. The Essenta DR Compact is not available for sale in the United States, but is available for sale in Canada.
The new Philips BrightView XCT represents a leap forward in hybrid imaging, as it can acquire the entire heart volume in just one rotation. It leverages a co-planar design with advanced Philips flat-detector X-ray CT technology to provide high-quality CT alongside insightful SPECT imaging. This system can be a good choice for hospitals looking to replace their SPECT camera with a hybrid SPECT/CT system, as it can be installed within the footprint of a traditional SPECT camera, reducing the need for costly construction and exam room modifications.
For smaller institutions and emerging markets, Philips is also introducing a new picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) solution allowing radiologists to share, collaborate and access radiology images. The new Philips Media Distribution Center (MDC) PACS solution comes at a lower price point and offers modular functionality and is scalable to meet a customer's evolving needs. The MDC PACS delivers an easy-to-use, easy-to-install image management system at a lower cost of ownership to help fulfill the requirements of image viewing, distribution and archiving.
Finally, Philips Customer Services is announcing Utilization Services, an offering that is designed to help health care providers increase their competitiveness by optimizing the operational performance of their imaging department and leveraging the full value of their existing technology. By acquiring objective data about scanner performance remotely, Philips' Utilization Services allow care providers to pinpoint and minimize inefficiencies to make the best use of their time. This helps to improve procedural work flow and quality of care, and reduce patient waiting lists by easily and quickly providing detailed insights into how imaging systems are used during exams and analyzing ways to increase efficiency.
Royal Philips Electronics of The Netherlands is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world expert in health care, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in The Netherlands, Philips employs more than 118.000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of 26 billion euro in 2008, the company is a market expert in cardiac care, acute care and home health care, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral health care. More company news is available in the VMW November 2009 article Philips brings the digital revolution to the pathology laboratory.