Konica Minolta: Medical Diagnostic Imaging and Design Thinking [Interview][Transcript]

Guillermo_Sander_Medical_Diagnostics_Design_ThinkingGuest: Guillermo Sander
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Guillermo Sander is Konica Minolta’s Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, The Americas, and responsible for introducing the latest premium Digital X-ray detectors in the AeroDR product family. He has been involved in healthcare and IT for more than 20 years and is considered by many as a thought leader in understanding customer needs and developing creative and practical solutions that gain widespread acceptance in the market. Prior to Konica Minolta, Guillermo held marketing and product management roles at GE Healthcare, Anixter International and the telecommunications division for Pirelli Cables.

Segment overview: Guillermo Sander from Konica Minolta talks about the Design Thinking approach and also shares some recommendations to clinicians about diagnostic imaging in their practices.


Health Professional Radio – Medical Diagnostics Design Thinking

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you so much for joining us today. Konica Minolta is helping healthcare providers imagine and develop their primary imaging strategy for the future using “design thinking” aided by visual road map that they can customize for their practice. And our guest in studio is here today Mr. Guillermo Sander, Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager here today to talk with us about design thinking. How are you doing today?

Guillermo Sander: Very well, thank you very much for having me.

N: Thank you Guillermo for returning to talk with us. Design thinking, we’ve all heard of well thinking about thinking and being specific when we’re talking about what are we gonna think about? How are we goanna control what we think because you know we are what we think. But I think we’re talking about something quite different when we’re talking about Design Thinking or am I wrong in that assumption?

G: You’re partially right.

N: Okay.

G: Design Thinking is really an approach, it’s been around for a while but it got popular a few years ago. And the whole idea is to really understand the need before you find the solution. And it’s a fairly straight forward process, the 5 steps which is first of all Emphasize…

N: Okay.

G: Understand the problem, why it’s being solved. And really understand what the customers is feeling. And understanding their challenge, then define clearly what’s the problem is? What do we want to solve? Before we move to Ideation and Brain Storming and Potential Solutions and trying to Solve that problem, then we move to a prototype stage where we try something out. A rough draft is good enough, just to make sure that we are solving the actual problem. And then we test it, solving what we try to do and you know what, many times we fail and we have to go back. This is slightly different than many products and services are designed where we kind a come up with that idea, and try to basically create a solution and then try to find a problem for it.

N: Okay. So you already have the solution in place and in the hopes that a problem will find your solutions. What we’re talking about now is totally the other way around.

G: Correct. So the approach we developed in conjunction with very smart people from the Xavier University Center for Innovation and another top level consultants is to apply this idea of Design Thinking which was normally done for actual products and really apply it to our whole process, to help our customers understand what they want to do with imaging in their practice before we move into what they need.

N: Now as a patient I’m familiar with technicians not wanting to give you the results of an x-ray. They leave that to the practitioner once those images are transmitted to them and you’ve got your appointment with them. In the new advances in imaging, how much of these advances are specifically designed to help the consumer, the patient understand what’s going on with their imaging. We all can’t read x-ray’s, certainly not MRI’s and ultrasounds. How much of this, is being I guess client-focus so that we can understand what are imaging means? And what it means to you as a healthcare provider?

G: While immediacy is certainly a value for the patient. Clinical confidence, we think it’s more important.

N: Okay.

G: So a lot of what we do when we look at a practice, we look at the practice from two ways. How can we improve your patient outcomes, which means we want speed of care ruling in, ruling out a lot quicker, shorten the wait times for sure. And clinical confidence is one of the top requirements by the customer. A fast result is not good if it’s not a good result.

N: So accuracy as opposed to I guess speed?

G: Speed, exactly. So a lot of what we do is increasing speed without losing that accuracy.

N: Now does Konica Minolta become involved with say a specialist in Wyoming and a specialist in France wanting to collaborate. Should they decide that “Hey I want to talk to this guy in the States about my patient here.” How much of that type of communication is taken care by these new developments that your company is working on?

G: It is starting to happen a lot more, certainly collaboration is very, very important. Telehealth has been going on for a while, a smaller practice may not have enough volume to just supply a full time radiologist on its staff.

N: Okay.

G: So they realize somewhere else to give them result and we need to provide the tools that allow us to happen efficiently, but more importantly securely. We can’t just send all on email with our patient information. So we are developing a lot of tools that allow that collaboration and not just sending the information and waiting for a response, but actual collaboration where people can be sharing them and really having a meeting of the mind especially in tough cases where a consultant is advisable.

N: Now we’ve talk about efficiency and we’ve talk about accuracy. What about convenience, there are patients who are home bound or in a long term elderly care facility. Something occurs where diagnostic imaging is needed or recommended, but you don’t necessarily want to have an ambulance pick up the patient at the nursing home to take them to the facility to be imaged and then brought back. What about actually going to the patient as opposed to the patient having to come to you because that’s where this huge bulky equipment is located.

N: That is actually, you hit the nail in the head. That is what we are thinking about in terms of point of care. We need to get the imaging as close to the patient as possible. And the days where you had to go to the hospital to get an x-ray are rapidly changing. Not only by bringing radiology or ultrasound closer into an outpatient center or an urgent care center. But now mobile radiology is more and more a reality, we’re leading the charts there where x-ray machines have become small enough that they can fit into a car. And digital radiology has become sensible enough and high quality enough to allow for these services to go to the patient’s residence, get the image and immediately send it to the cloud to be evaluated and provide results with the urgency that right there to see if it’s a monitoring you might have a little more time, if it’s a more of an urgent situation you might need an immediate response. So we also have to think about that prior to the decision. But certainly, healthcare in the home is very rapidly becoming more of a reality with both of new technical and philosophical challenges.

N: Absolutely.

G: But is certainly the age of Uber healthcare is rapidly approaching.

N: As far as learning institutions are concerned, in schools, colleges across the country and across the world, our students are taught a certain method or certain technology, a certain piece of equipment and they’re expecting to see this equipment when they hit the real world. They hit the real world after 7 years of med school or whatever and is totally changed. These new advances have taken hold, are our student going to be lost or how much does Konica Minolta, how much are you involved in getting these new advances into learning institutions and on the schedule for classes and learning?

G: We are growing in that. We’re learning that we need to help institutions in their training and.

N: Syllabi, I guess that was the word.

G: (Laugh) And this frustrating, in college is pretty … up and coming healthcare professionals grew up in the digital age, even patients today. You see the Facebook, cloud sourcing of healthcare which poses a whole new, that’s a whole new webcams for you.

N: Absolutely, it is.

G: But certainly they are more open to learning and what we found is we have done some efforts in different universities. And what we found is how quickly the technology gets embraced but as a manufacturer and somebody interested in future development, for me the most fascinating part is how quickly they come up with new ways to use this existing technology. They see one thing and they say “Well why can’t we do this other thing?” And frankly it is a great source for us because it’s fueling our idea pipeline to come up with needs that were just not there before because the technology wouldn’t even let you dream of it.

N: Now you do have a lab, a design thinking lab in Cincinnati. Is that currently still in operation and is that the only one that you have?

G: We do not have it, we sponsored an event with Xavier University Center for Innovation where we actually tried out our design thinking for primary imaging. And they kind helped us, they already have a practice in place, they do this all the time. They have one of the largest healthcare administrations trainers or educators in the US. And they were able to facilitate, leverage basically their network and their status to bring in healthcare professionals from different walks of life, educators, innovators to help us kind of think thru this Design Thinking Approach so we could actually build our tools to help ourselves, health team and our group of professionals bring this to the individual practitioner. Many times our healthcare providers don’t have the luxury of a lot of time. So we needed to create something that is fairly quick to get to understanding the customers’ needs and drivers. So we can help them start a process of co-creation and what we’re trying to change the mentality in the market place is from “Here’s my product, choose what you want.” to say “Let me understand you, your practice, your needs, your goals, the outcomes that you’re looking for and then let’s jointly find a solution that will do what you need to do as quickly as a possible.” and take that approach.

N: Taken out the guess work?

G: Not only guess work, but it’s sometimes believe it or not – it changes, sometimes we kind of think “I need this,” without thinking what problem was really trying to solve. So in many cases they just say “I have a broken equipment, I need to replace it” or “It’s becoming end of life.” And when we come in and say “Well what do you want to do with it?” And we come up with a different solutions from what the customer was originally thinking because once we start dishing out, “Okay you need something that will make you more productive or will help with the diagnosis or well just reduce the patient waiting time or all of the above, or just looking for enhancing your opportunities, maybe you were looking for a solution of radiology, but what you needed was better software.”

N: So basically it’s not just a collaboration with healthcare providers concerned with the needs of the healthcare provider but more so concerned with the needs of the consumer and their understanding of what their issues are.

G: Yeah, a little bit of both.

N: Great. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio today talking with Guillermo Sander, Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager talking about Design Thinking, the approach that the company has taken. And also talking about some of the recommendation that clinicians need to think about when they’re considering diagnostic imaging in their own practices. It’s been great having you here with us today.

G: Thank you very much.

N: Thank you. Transcript and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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