Konica Minolta Diagnostic Imaging: Changing the Point of Care Environment [Interview][Transcript]

Guillermo_Sander_Primary_Imaging_Point_of_CareGuest: 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 discusses the shifts that are changing the point-of-care environment and why real time access to diagnostic primary images is so important to patients and providers.

Transcription

Health Professional Radio – Point of Care

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, very glad that you could join us today. Our guest in studio today is Guillermo Sander, Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager. He is responsible for introducing the latest premium digital x-ray detectors in the AeroDR product family. He’s 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. How are you doing Guillermo?

Guillermo Sander: I’m very well, thank you very much.

N: As Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, that must be a huge responsibility for you?

G: It’s certainly a lot of fun.

N: A lot of fun? Well that’s important, you find something you love to do and you’ll never have a job. (Laugh)

G: Oh yes. (Laugh)

N: In introducing you, I mentioned that you’re Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager and you’re involved heavily in medical imaging. Konica’s Minolta considered a market leader in medical diagnostic primary imaging solutions focused on collaborating with healthcare providers across specialties and disciplines as well. Could you give us a little bit of background into what it is that you do at Minolta?

G: Great. Yes, my job is a lot of fun. As you explained Konica Minolta is focused on primary imaging. Primary imaging is the first diagnostic imaging before you go into any of the advanced modalities like CT, MRI. So we really focus on to digital x-ray, your ultrasound, the healthcare IT solutions and the service that keeps it going. And my job is a lot of fun because most of what I do is based on really understanding the customer needs, what’s driving their necessity. And then hear our product development to meet those needs in a way that makes it practical and achievable and certainly meaningful for customers.

N: Now many of our listeners are healthcare providers themselves in one area or another. Could you explain to us, how you define point of care? What is the point of care environment as you see it?

G: Well when it comes to diagnostic imaging, the point of care is actually rapidly evolving. Before you would kind of go to your hospital for your x-ray or to get an ultrasound maybe in imaging center. But what’s been happening with the change in landscape and reform and what’s going on in healthcare insurance, all of these changes that we’ve been going through in the last couple of …

N: Couple of years or so?

G: 10 years or so and more in the last couple. What we’re seeing is a migration of the point of care, now you want your primary care physician to be able to diagnose you quicker. Certainly urgent care is growing significantly if hospital is trying to alleviate the load in the emergency department. We’re seeing home healthcare and what we’re seeing is that the role of primary imaging is changing. Now there are companies that actually go to retirement homes and actually their patients there, imaging care centers are making sure that they have significant x-ray capability. So they can very quickly diagnose the patient, rule in, rule out and move them to the diagnosis as quickly and efficiently as possible. To meet not only the patient satisfaction safety and expectations, but also it’s a good thing business practice, they have to fight for business in having the ability to process a patient’s efficiently and getting to that diagnosis accurately and promptly is certainly a value add for our customers.

N: Now talking about the value added for customers, when it comes to the changing landscape of the point of care – are we talking about advancements or improvements in the efficiency of being able to I guess communicate these images to the person that needs to actually have them in real time? What are we talking about when it comes to efficiency? And are we talking we have to hire a different, a whole new staff or is this something this changing landscape, I guess for lack of a better term more user friendly as you see it?

G: Actually it is about doing more with less. It’s not about getting different staff, it’s making your staff’s life a little bit easier and that involves a few things. First of all with the digitalization of X-ray especially direct digital work where you basically replace CR cassettes or film with a digital detector that can provide a preview in three seconds in a full processed imaging in a matter of 6 to 9 seconds, changes the complete workload of the office.

N: Okay.

G: You can very quickly view the exam the examination which of course reduces, and increases patient comfort, let’s put it that way but also allows you to very quickly get the image. And because it’s now electronic, you can share with the attending physician and radiologist a lot quicker. Now what we’re seeing is that once information becomes electronic and easier to access and to move around, the needs start changing. For example before if a physician wanted to look, they were putting in a catheter, the minutes they got an X-ray.

N: Absolutely.

G: To make sure that it was in the right place. Now that it’s digital, they want the digital image as soon as they finish to make sure where it needs to be and they can move on.

N: In real time.

G: In very much real time. But not only that now we see even small groups of physician offices, maybe an orthopedic practice. They want the image that they took in office to be available in office A and to share with the specialist in office D.

N: Okay. So basically the communication…

G: So it is changing the way we think.

N: Yeah, more efficient communication and collaboration as we mentioned in the first place, among healthcare providers when it comes to offering better service to their patients.

G: Correct, and more information. The last thing anybody wants is to know their X-ray. (Laugh)

N: Absolutely, I’ve had many myself. And now with the disc, there was a point several years ago, were I was, I called myself taking advantage or taking control of my healthcare since I was seeing so many specialists in so many different locations. I was talking my records, my imaging with me, these big I guess one foot by whatever films of x-ray, and also on the discs as well. But what I’m hearing is that both of those can be done away with the advent of instantaneous communication between healthcare providers, yeah?

G: Correct. And that all becomes part of your Electronic Health Record and while we’re not there yet, we’re certainly making strides. In fact that kind of what prompted our merger with Viztek, we have very solid.

N: Viztek, yes in October yeah?

G: Yes and they have a strength in healthcare IT. They have a very innovative and very practical solutions for information management. A lot of cloud based types of applications, it is a private cloud, but still it’s very secure, but easy way to share information very efficiently. And without needing very large computers, that’s another thing that’s also changing.

N: So we’re not talking about large blocks of memory to bug down your network?

G: Correct. And or very expensive work stations to process the images, we’re trying to do that in offset most of the work.

N: Okay.

G: To the servers in the cloud. So we basically have zero footprint viewer solution, that pretty much can be used in any computer when you have the right authorization, which makes access to that information a lot faster and convenient for the healthcare provider.

N: Great. Now Guillermo in wrapping up, I’d like to ask you about maybe a specific incident. We’re talking about the increased efficiency and much better communication in real time. In your experience have you observed a time when this real time communication of diagnostic imaging helped actually to save a life when the traditional method would have resulted in maybe the loss of life or more severe procedure needing to be implemented?

G: Not firsthand, but I have seen instances where catastrophic emergency room type of situation where the image was acquired digitally. And because the doctors had a very quick access to the radiologist, we’re already standby. The triage was done quick enough, with they quickly decide if the person needed to be loaded up into a helicopter for level 1 emergency department, if they needed to be move to an operating room immediately or they could hold off. In this case there was a shooting incident in an education environment and just the ability to triage the patients appropriately in literally seconds, it was certainly a vast improvement and everybody involved was really happy that having this type of facility or access to information allowed them just to move just quickly through the process.

N: Great. And where can our listeners get more information about Minolta’s advances in imaging?

G: So it’s in our webpage konicaminolta.com

N: Great. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio talking with Guillermo Sander, Konica Minolta Senior Strategic Marketing Manager. And we’ve been discussing the changing environment as it pertains to point of care and why real time access to diagnostic primary images is so very important to patients and providers alike. It’s been great having you here with us today Guillermo.

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.