By Suzanne Hodsden
Siemens is looking to expand its portfolio of population health management (PHM) solutions with the acquisition of San Francisco-based tech firm Medicalis, which specializes in tools that maximize efficiency in clinical decisions, imaging workflow, and scheduling management. By broadening Healthineers’ population health management (PHM) offerings and services business, senior executives said the company is looking to meet the value-based healthcare demands of a “challenging” market.
PHM solutions represent the marriage of healthcare systems and big data, as advanced analytics process information from patient population groups to target areas of financial inefficiency compared to patient outcomes. By implementing preventative strategies, healthcare systems are looking to meet outcome-based targets and address the skyrocketing price of healthcare, explained analysts from iData in an MDO guest column.
Last year, Siemens Healthineers signed a five-year alliance with IBM Watson Health that aims to bundle Watson’s analytics and services with hardware developed by Siemens to co-develop integrated services and tools, possibly medical imaging with built-in artificial intelligence (AI). The partnership launched Siemens’ foray into PHM solutions, joining competitors such as Philips and Verily, who’ve also recently invested in PHM tech.
Matthias Platsch, head of services at Siemens Healthineers, commented last year that the “rapidly growing” PHM market fit “perfectly” into Siemens’ services business. In a recent statement, Platsch added that PHM represents a “key priority” for expansion in Siemens’ services business, and the integration of Medicalis’ technology will complement existing offerings.
The acquisition of Medicalis will provide Siemens with a suite of PHM solutions, including clinical decision support (CDS), imaging workflow and referral management. CDS solutions evaluate imaging orders to confirm appropriate use, cutting down on the 20-30 percent of imaging procedures that fail to produce actionable data, said Siemens. Both imaging workflow and referral management aim to address potential gaps in care, ensuring timely reads of diagnostic material and automatic patient scheduling within their network.
“The acquisition of Medicalis will allow us to offer healthcare providers a powerful solution to define, implement, monitor and evolve their own standard of care for their diagnostic service line,” said Robert Taylor, head of digital services PHM at Siemens Healthineers. “We are excited to support our customers with these innovative tools to remove the variability from key high-impact disease states, to create standardized diagnostic pathways, which enhance outcomes, control costs, and when combined with intelligent referral management, improve the patient experience overall.”
Oran Muduroglu, CEO of Medicalis, stated that Siemens is a “strong fit,” and the deal will allow Medicalis to “broaden the context” of its PHM solutions into the “full spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic areas.”
Developing solutions that increase the value of healthcare is a wide-ranging goal of Siemens Healthineers, which recently introduced both a CT platform and MR technology designed for smaller hospitals with reduced budgets. The company also signed a four-year research partnership with Northwell Health to co-develop solutions that improve healthcare outcomes and reduce costs.
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser recently put to bed rumors that the company was looking to divest Healthineers, telling a Swiss newspaper that the company intends to retain a majority stake in Healthineers, and calling the businesses “one of our most attractive shops.”