Medical technology: Siemens Healthineers bets on Indian talents in health technologies at the innovation hub
By Srinath Srinivasan
For German medical technology company Siemens Healthineers, India is increasingly playing a key role in its growth strategy. Last week, Siemens Healthineers announced plans to invest Rs.1300 crore (160 million euros) over the next five years in a new innovation center in Bangalore. The innovation hub will be housed in a new campus combining the existing R&D center and a state-of-the-art medical imaging plant. He also plans to add up to 1,800 digital talents over the next ten years in India.
This new investment plan is part of the German major’s “Strategy 2025”, in which India plays an important role as a growth market. The new Bengaluru campus will be one of its four innovation hubs, with the other hubs located in the United States, Germany and China.
Over the years, the medical technology company has invested around 2,500 crore (300 million euros) in R&D activities in the country. With the existing Bengaluru R&D center housing approximately 50% of Siemens Heatineers software engineers, the center plays a strategic role in the development of software products and platforms for imaging, diagnostics and advanced therapies.
“We have developed a number of components here for our companion AI-Rad applications. These are used by radiologists to analyze images. More recently, we have developed a program to analyze CT images against Covid-19, ”said Gerd Hoefner, senior vice president of the development center and general manager of Siemens Healthcare, speaking about the work being done from the Indian facilities. existing ones that have found a use. at the World level. The existing R&D manufacturing facility in Bengaluru is also working on a pathway companion for Covid-19, which are disease-specific support systems for diagnosis and treatment.
In April of this year, the company also announced an acceleration program in collaboration with Nasscom to incubate startups in the health technology field.
In view of this, the new campus aims to consolidate all the activities that the company undertakes in Bengaluru. “We already have 400 people working in all skills. As we add more, we will highlight work on Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our TeamPlay platform will play a key role in connecting hospitals and skills. We are already using open source for software R&D and we will continue to draw inspiration from it, ”he explains.
Bengaluru, as a technology hub, offers a versatile talent pool for Siemens. Hoefner believes this is an ideal location for an innovation hub due to its strong innovation and healthcare ecosystems, coupled with reputable educational institutions.
“The innovation hub in India will enable market requirements to be captured right from the design of the product itself. We continue this collection until prototyping and development is complete. The new hub will allow us to better understand the weak points in the market, ”adds Vivek Kanade, Executive Vice President – Zone India, Siemens Healthineers.
The new hub will include 70,000 square meters of office space for the expanded R&D center and 5,000 square meters of factory space within the same campus, which will facilitate product development. Today, the Cios Fit and Somatom arms are disappearing. CT scanners are designed, developed and manufactured in India and are sold in Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. The new hub will also tackle the accessibility challenge specific to these markets.
“Immersive experience, remote services, preoperative simulation service, operating room planning, cybersecurity for providers will be necessities in the future. The new hub will address these key areas through various stakeholders in our ecosystem, ”said Hoefner.
Medical treatment is evolving into precision medicine that is made possible by AI and the cloud. The innovation clusters are catapulting this pursuit. In the grand scheme of things, it’s about integrating AI more into medical procedures. This will increase availability and remote accessibility; whose demand jumped during lockdowns.
With new technologies, it’s not just new business models, but also new challenges. “We have been nimble during this difficult time and this remote working experience. When the new hub opens, the challenges may change and we will try to overcome that with innovative business models and technology, ”Kanade said. “The hub will speed up our work on AI. We can better understand the market and come up with better solutions.