At the upcoming Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting starting Sunday, Royal Philips Electronics ( PHG, AEX: PHI) will demonstrate a new range of healthcare imaging and informatics solutions designed to directly address the priorities of patients and care providers, by delivering meaningful imaging innovations that reflect a desire for value, modular price points and easy upgradability. This focus will enable Philips to provide continued access to advanced technology despite pressures on providers, thereby reaffirming its commitment to put patients and clinicians first.
The economic downturn is forcing hospitals to reevaluate 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.(1)
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 healthcare 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," said 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, workflow 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 workflow. 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 healthcare 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(2), 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 centers, private clinics and orthopedic clinics.
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 healthcare 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 workflow 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.