Practical Diagnostic Tools to Help Healthcare Professionals Provide Better Care for Patients [Interview Transcript]

Guest: Anthony Harrington
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Anthony Harrington is an experienced executive and non executive director with over 20 years experience in the medical device and Biotech sector, in complex (matrix type) international environments. Prior to joining Welch Allyn, he was the Vice Chairman of the Medical Technology Association of Australia and as Managing Director of Biomet. His career achievements are underpinned by formal qualifications in science, an MBA and I have completed the company director’s course at the AICD.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Welch Allyn Australia General Manager Anthony Harrington joins us today to share great insights of their company’s product and services. With over a century of dedicated service as a world renowned leading manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment, Welch Allyn continues to excel in inventing and developing breakthrough products and technologies to help healthcare practitioners provide excellent patient care. The company’s advancements make accessing patient information faster, more accurate and more efficient.


Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar. Today my guest is Tony Harrington. Tony is the General Manager of Welch Allyn Australia and he joins us on the phone now. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Tony.

Anthony Harrington: Thank you very much Wayne. It’s terrific to be here.

W: Now Tony, most of our audience are clinicians and certainly some of them will be familiar with Welch Allyn, but there will be others who are not. Tell us what it is Welch Allyn does and what geographic footprint you service.

A: Yes, of course. Welch Allyn was founded in 1915 and we’re in the business of globally, not just locally developing and manufacturing and marketing quality medical devices and technologies. We’re part of the health company and we employ about two and a half thousand people around the world with headquarters in Skaneateles Falls in New York. We have various manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries, including Skaneateles Falls in the USA, Tijuana Mexico and a plant in Suzhou China. And we also have rich research and development centers around the world, the main one being in Skaneateles Falls and at the parent company in New York and Beaverton USA, as well as Singapore. If I could sum us up, we’re basically a leading global manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment whether wide range of digitally connected solutions for hospitals and primary care clinics. We work in 26 countries with nearly two and half thousand people as I said and we focus on the customer, and imagine how healthcare will be delivered in the future to develop the tools that customers need and to future prove technologies. Our customers includes physicians practices or GP’s as we call them in Australia, community clinics, secured nursing facility, and emergency departments and I guess if you could sum it up it’s what we do is we service the area where 95% of patients for seek medical treatment. We combine a practical understanding the clinical needs with the visionary spirit, to develop solutions that assess, diagnose, treat and manage a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.

W: Now Tony that’s an extraordinarily sized company, upgrading globally with that number of people. And I notice in your catalog, it’s a big catalog of products. What is it that you’d like clinicians to know about your product range?

A: Well I suppose the ever arching message is that “Welch Allyn provides superlative medical products, superlative solutions, great service.” And these are used by healthcare, these attributes are used by healthcare professionals at the point of care in acute primary settings all around the world, every minute of the day. You know as an example, since inventing the first direct illuminating hand held ophthalmoscope, we’ve developed hundreds of breakthrough products and technologies that enable frontline practitioners to provide superior patient care. And building on these successful products, we’ve enjoyed steady growth by expanding our traditional position into electronic and connected product categories like continuous patient monitoring, automated vital signs capture and diagnostic cardiology into exciting new areas such as telehealth and patient surveillance. And these continued advancements make accessing patient information faster, more accurate and more efficient. So I suppose that would be the take away message I’d like people to know, to walk away with today.

W: Tony, what’s happening for you now that’s current? What’s the big issue that’s going on that people need to know about?

A: Ah yeah, well I think the biggest one is for all of us here Welch Allyn Australia, is I think the public would be surprised to learn that Welch Allyn is a hundred year old company. As I said, founded in 1915 and we’re celebrating our 100th anniversary this year. So we have a tremendous amount of history inside knowledge and expertise that we’ve drawn when we develop our new solutions. And that’s a key differentiator for us, we’re constantly looking for solutions that will help providers manage chronic conditions of the patient populations and I eluded this earlier, making the experience a really great one with customers, making the equipment easier to understand through our training that we provide, through our expert health team and technical service team that are at call for our customers, areas like hypotension, diabetic retinopathy, arrhythmia etc. And we really feel that it’s our responsibility as good competitiveness to help improve people’s life. And so if there is something that keeps me up at night, it’s a, and what, and indeed what gets us out of bed in the morning is the drive to make you a difference with our customers and more importantly our patients around the world.

W: Well happy 100’th birthday for this year to Welch Allyn.

A: Thank you very much Wayne.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and I’m in conversation with Tony Harrington, the general manager for Australia of Welch Allyn. And we’ve been talking about the size and scale and range of products that Welch Allyn provides globally. Tony, one of the things that happened is this e-Health process, there’s a huge migration of everything digital. And I guess rather than going to it with you now, we do have a series coming up about the e-Health and it would be really good to get your insights into just how you see the clinical world bring impacted from a supplier’s point of view by that. But will deal with that in another call, perhaps.

W: It’s an exciting branch as medical technologies for sure.

W: It is going to be interesting, I think. Now just one of the things that I like people to ask people when we’re talking with suppliers, Tony is about misconceptions. What do you think is the biggest misconception about your range of products and services with your clinicians or clients or patients that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night?

W: Well thanks for the good people we have working in Australia and the quality of, our products has very little that keeps me awake at night. Probably the biggest misconception I think is that these products are somehow difficult to use or highly complex in terms of their understanding and operation because of the service we provide, because of the expertise of our sales force in particular in our product management teams, are really are experts in their field. Probably with this attitude of really wanting to help customers and be with customers rather than sitting in the office all the time. All of those combined to makes any experience with Welch Allyn in Australia I would hope a pleasant one and engaging one that really allows the products to be used in a very straight forward fashion to the best of their ability and for what they we’re designed for. So I’ll say that’s the biggest misconception that I have all this past work that because we got such good people at the calls space, helping our customers, helping nurses every day in the wards, in the emergency departments, in GP practices, clinical nurse specialists, overseeing GP practices. All of those combined to make it a very pleasant experience to deal with Welch Allyn Australia.

W: Now Tony how do people get in touch with Welch Allyn? What’s the best way for them to make contact?

W: Yeah, there’s a couple of ways. If you’re a GP or a primary care or GP clinic setting probably thru your local distributor that you normally use to order your products. Also we have a team of people dedicated to general practitioners, and so you can contact any of our field force and all of the GP’s around the country would be familiar of those people are. If you’re in a hospital setting, we have team of dedicated sales executives calling, calling directly on hospitals so just contact your local Welch Allyn representative within your geographical area and they’ll be over in a flash to help you with whatever issue at hand.

W: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio in conversation with Tony Harrington the general manager of Welch Allyn. And we’ve been talking about the range of products and services and a little hint about where that might be going in future developments, but if you’d missed all that we have a transcript on our website for you. And we have a SoundCloud archive, and we’re on YouTube so you can catch up with my conversation any of those places. Our website is www.hpr.fm, this is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.

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