A Conversation with Dr. David Stein at AACC

July 20, 2012
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I had a chance to sit down with Dr. David Stein, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Point of Care Business Unit, at the AACC. He and his staff walked me through the entire Siemens booth, which is massive and organized by department, with the new Aptio center stage. Stein manages technologies for use at the point of patient contact, or point of care (POC), and feels strongly about the future of this field. “Whether in the clinic, at the physician office, or in the hospital, quick results can totally change a patient’s interaction and outcome,” he said.

I had a chance to sit down with Dr. David Stein, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Point of Care Business Unit, at the AACC. He and his staff walked me through the entire Siemens booth, which is massive and organized by department, with the new Aptio center stage. Stein manages technologies for use at the point of patient contact, or point of care (POC), and feels strongly about the future of this field. “Whether in the clinic, at the physician office, or in the hospital, quick results can totally change a patient’s interaction and outcome,” he said. “Say a patient comes in with advanced diabetes. The doctor may run tests and get the results back in a week, but the patient may not return for months. By then, his condition may have changed a great deal. If the doctor can offer results while the patient is still in the office, they can discuss a plan of action immediately and start the healing process.”

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Critical care is another field where Stein sees growth for point of care testing. “When a patient presents at the ER with chest pain, every second counts and an accurate diagnosis is critical. Testing for blood gas on the spot with quick results can help pull a patient through when time is so important.”

Stein sees a strong future for POC. “In the future, I see POC testing expanding to cover blood gas, urine, and cardiology on a regular basis. Training, compliance, and operator management will merge with the new capabilities to form a POC Ecosystem,” he said, “with everything functioning to support the assay and fast results.” To support this growth, the company’s RAPIDComm(R) connects multiple Siemens blood gas, urine chemistry, and HbA1c POC analyzers through a single interface to help standardize test protocols. “POC testing can be monitored from a single location, no matter where the testing is done,” said Curt Koehn. 

I was impressed with the customer care features of Siemens’ program. “We believe training optimizes the workflow, which is why we support our equipment and customers throughout the life of the instruments we sell,” said Anne Palladino. “Our goal is to move each lab to its next level of efficiency.” Their competency-based educational programs are available to all customers, and allow managers to customize training for each staff member by selecting appropriate modules for them to study. Each section ends with a quiz, allowing operators to document competency automatically and generate reports for audits and reviews. Certificates from outside training can be scanned into the system, creating a complete training record for each employee.

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The thing about Siemens is that its offerings work together and compliment each other, with the hardware, IT, training and customer service to meet the needs of any lab and increase efficiency and standardization. “Automation was a huge step forward for the lab industry,” said Stein, and POC is coming fast on its heels. As labs begin to lose their senior personnel to retirement, the replacement technicians will probably find this technology second nature.”