Dr. Claudia Oanea, Siemens Healthineers Romania: Improving Access To Care For Better Living

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 11/10/2023 | 17:25

For Siemens Healthineers, a major global medical technology company providing a wide range of innovative solutions, services, and products for the healthcare industry, “Access to care” is a core strategic pillar. With at least 50 percent of the world’s population lacking access to safe, affordable, and timely medical services, offering healthcare for all is an urgent task. As a supporter of innovation on every one of its markets, Siemens Healthineers recently introduced on the Romanian market Naeotom Alpha, a state-of-the-art CT machine—one of only 60 such units currently in use worldwide. Business Review spoke to Dr. Claudia Oanea, Managing Director at Siemens Healthineers Romania, and talked about the company’s mission and objectives both in Romania and globally.

By Anda Sebesi


How would you briefly describe Siemens Healthineers?

Siemens Healthineers is the leading global medical technology company that specialises in providing a wide range of innovative solutions, services, and products for the healthcare industry. With a strong focus on medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, and advanced medical technologies, Siemens Healthineers aims to improve patient care and help healthcare providers deliver accurate diagnoses and effective treatment options. The company’s expertise lies in developing cutting-edge medical devices, diagnostic equipment, and digital healthcare solutions, contributing to advancements in medical research and patient outcomes worldwide.


Your company’s mission statement is ”We pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare. For everyone, everywhere.” What does this mean and how it is translated into the company’s business strategy?

“Access to care” is indeed a core strategic pillar of Siemens Healthineers, reflecting the company’s commitment to making quality healthcare accessible to all individuals, regardless of their location or background. This mission embodies the company’s dedication to overcoming barriers that can limit access to medical services and technologies. Billions of people live in unstable environments that pose significant challenges to health due to severely limited access to basic medical services. Every two seconds, someone between the ages of 30 and 70 dies prematurely from noncommunicable diseases: cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes or cancer.

To improve access to care, we use various resources and methods to face critical challenges head-on. This includes forging partnerships with stakeholders, implementing new digital solutions across the health continuum, employing flexible financing and business models, and developing devices with fewer infrastructure requirements. Furthermore, we continue to increase the number of installed systems from our Imaging and Advanced Therapies portfolio, coupled with our Varian linear accelerators.

We actively monitor the actual progress of our multiple efforts to improve access to care around the globe. In FY 2022, we reached 212 million patient touchpoints in underserved countries, increasing our 2020 figures by 22 percent. We are on track to reach our target by 2030. With at least 50 percent of the world’s population having no access to safe, affordable, and timely healthcare services, offering healthcare for all is an urgent task. When access is limited, it can create a dangerous and costly cycle in which late diagnosis and therapy lead to suboptimal health outcomes. One of our primary goals is to reach those in need and strive for the populations of underserved countries to gain access to affordable and reliable care. People everywhere should be able to easily receive the right care, in the right setting, at the right time.

By improving access to care, we are promoting good health and well-being, while reducing healthcare-related inequalities by providing more accessible and affordable solutions. Our efforts to increase access to care are backed by strong networks and partnerships. In line with our purpose, we aim to maintain and improve health by enabling service providers to deliver high-value care. Our solutions help physicians, medical staff, and healthcare providers to increase access for patients and address challenges linked to affordability, availability, and acceptability.

Affordability—people’s ability to pay for state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment without financial hardship—can be improved through innovative, flexible financing solutions and business models, as well as by driving down expenses with predictable costs by considering total cost of ownership. With offerings such as Value Partnerships, we broaden affordability for our customers.

Availability—people’s ability to obtain health services when needed—can be improved by using telehealth solutions, reimagining the role of hospitals, improving patient throughput, empowering primary care services, and maximising use.

Improving access to care is a topic of focus for both our Sustainability Strategy and our Corporate Strategy. By placing double emphasis on this topic, we strengthen our commitment to further expanding access to high-quality diagnostic services and solutions for patients in underserved countries.


The company focuses on accelerating global development to increase Universal Health Coverage. How do you do it?

As the CEO of Siemens Healthineers Romania, I’m proud to say that our company is deeply committed to advancing global development and increasing Universal Health Coverage, especially in low- and middle-income countries. We believe that every individual deserves access to high-quality healthcare, regardless of their economic circumstances. To achieve this goal, we have implemented a multifaceted approach: we actively collaborate with governments, non-governmental organisations, and local healthcare providers and by working together, we can leverage each other’s strengths and resources to create sustainable healthcare solutions.

Siemens Healthineers develops innovative medical technologies and solutions that are designed to be effective, efficient, and of course accessible. Our focus is on technologies that can address prevalent health issues in these countries and improve diagnostic accuracy and treatment outcomes. We are committed to building local capacity by providing training and education to healthcare professionals and by empowering local medical staff with the knowledge and skills to operate advanced medical equipment—and this is proving to be essential for sustainable healthcare delivery.

To ensure affordability and accessibility, we often tailor our business models to suit the specific needs of these regions, which may include flexible financing options and resource-sharing initiatives, because we understand the economic challenges of each region. We embrace telemedicine and remote monitoring solutions that can bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients in remote or underserved areas. This approach allows for better management of chronic conditions and early intervention.

We actively participate in the development of healthcare infrastructure, including setting up clinics, hospitals, and diagnostic centres. This contributes to a more comprehensive and well-rounded healthcare system.

We also engage in public awareness campaigns to promote health education and preventive measures, targeting specific health issues that are prevalent in certain countries. Our dedication to these strategies stems from our belief that a healthier world is a better world. We recognise that every step we take towards improving healthcare accessibility contributes to a brighter and more equitable future for everyone. By collaborating, innovating, and adapting, Siemens Healthineers Romania is playing a vital role in accelerating global development and expanding Universal Health Coverage.

The purpose of Siemens Healthineers is to become an even more important player in healthcare, with the ability to shape global patient care and global healthcare and further expand access to affordable care for those who do not have it. We pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare. For everyone. Everywhere.

We continuously adapt to new challenges and constantly bring breakthrough innovations to market—for the benefit of patients, medical professionals, and society. These challenges, while common to all of humanity, affect different parts of the world differently: fast-growing countries need to build up professional, affordable, and accessible healthcare solutions not only in metropolitan centres, but also in remote, rural areas. Developed countries have ageing populations with a growing burden of chronic diseases, which means they need to balance a high quality of care with rising healthcare costs.

In summary, “We pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare. For everyone, everywhere” is reflected in our  business strategy through the development of innovative, adaptable, and accessible medical technologies, partnerships that address healthcare disparities, investment in digital health solutions, and a commitment to affordability and sustainability. These initiatives collectively contribute to the company’s goal of ensuring that high-quality healthcare is available and accessible to individuals worldwide.


What can you tell us about your business strategy in Romania?

Siemens Healthineers is deeply committed to contributing to the healthcare landscape in Romania. Our business strategy revolves around a mix of innovation, collaboration, and local empowerment. We bring cutting-edge medical technologies and solutions: medical imaging systems, laboratory diagnostics, point-of-care testing devices, and digital health solutions. These innovations are designed to enhance diagnostic accuracy, treatment efficiency, and patient care.

Siemens Healthineers has a strong local presence in Romania, with offices and a dedicated team of professionals across the country. We aim to understand the unique challenges and needs of the Romanian healthcare system, and we tailor our solutions accordingly. We collaborate closely with healthcare institutions, medical professionals, and government bodies. Through these partnerships, we aim to contribute to the advancement of the healthcare sector by sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources. Our team in Romania plays a vital role in driving our initiatives forward. We employ a significant number of professionals across various functions, including sales, service, application support, and more. The local team was extended by 20% in order to meet our partners’ needs rapidly and efficiently. Our employees are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and supporting the implementation of our technologies.

We prioritise the training and education of healthcare professionals in Romania. We organise workshops, seminars, and training sessions to ensure that medical staff are well-versed in operating our advanced equipment effectively. In line with the growing importance of digitalization in healthcare, we offer digital health solutions that enhance patient management, data analytics, and decision-making. These solutions contribute to improved patient outcomes and operational efficiency.

I believe in giving back to the communities where we operate, so we engage in various corporate social responsibility initiatives that focus on healthcare, education, and community well-being.

Siemens Healthineers’ strategy in Romania encompasses a strong focus on innovation, collaboration, employee engagement, and community impact. Our goal is to contribute to the advancement of healthcare by providing state-of-the-art medical technologies, supporting healthcare professionals, and fostering partnerships that drive positive change. We are proud of our presence in Romania and remain committed to making a meaningful difference in the country’s healthcare landscape.

To give just one example, as proof of the fact that we support innovation wherever we are present, we’ve recently introduced the Naeotom Alpha, a CT machine that uses cutting edge technology, at the Cardiomed Medical Centre in Targu Mures—the first one in Romania and one of only 60 such units currently in use worldwide. With Naeotom Alpha, Siemens Healthineers reinvents computed tomography for more accurate diagnostics, with low radiation doses, and this state-of-the-art technology is now available for Romanian patients.


What are the company’s targets and priorities around opportunities for global health systems and what are your commitments to achieve these goals?

We have set ambitious targets for ourselves for FY 2025 and beyond. Our sustainability goals support our purpose, values, and strategy. By highlighting six core KPIs, we have defined clear and measurable targets for moving towards a more sustainable future. Since FY 2022, all indicators as well as our targets for FY 2025 and beyond have included Varian. We confirm our aspirations following the inclusion of Varian: the relative target values have not changed. Our goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions remain at the same level. The target number for patient touchpoints is unchanged. While efforts to increase patient access to our technologies in the defined underserved countries are similar for Varian as for the other parts of our business, the resulting increase in patient touchpoints is significantly smaller. We have kept the target number of AI products for 2030 at the same level, as the synergic benefits of the combination of both companies come into play here.


Please give us some details about the solutions you offer for better access to care.

Siemens Healthineers provides a range of innovative solutions that improve access to care in Romania and worldwide. Through technology, partnerships, education, and strategic collaborations, we strive to overcome barriers and ensure that every individual, regardless of their location, has access to high-quality healthcare services. Our collaborations with local healthcare providers, government agencies, and non-governmental organisations play a pivotal role in understanding the unique needs of each region and tailoring our solutions accordingly. We recognise the financial challenges faced by healthcare facilities in both Romania and other parts of the world. As part of our commitment to improving access to care, we provide flexible financing options and adaptable business models to suit different budget constraints. Our digital health solutions facilitate remote patient monitoring, with technologies that enable healthcare professionals to provide care and guidance to patients regardless of their geographical location, promoting accessibility and continuity of care. The AI-driven solutions enhance diagnostic accuracy by analysing medical images and data to identify patterns and anomalies that might be difficult to detect through traditional methods. This technology assists healthcare providers in making more informed decisions, even in areas with limited medical expertise.

Our advanced medical imaging systems, such as MRI, CT, ultrasound, and X-ray, enable healthcare providers in Romania and globally to accurately diagnose a wide range of medical conditions. These technologies are designed for efficiency, precision, and patient comfort, aiding early detection and effective treatment planning.


From your position, what insights can you provide into the global challenge of healthcare and how do you think decision makers should address for better results in the benefit of the global society?

From Siemens Healthineers’ perspective, healthcare is undoubtedly a global challenge that demands collective action and innovative solutions. The world’s population is growing, aging, and facing an increasing burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Access to quality healthcare is not only a fundamental human right but also a crucial driver of social and economic development.

Decision makers should adopt a holistic approach that encompasses prevention, diagnostics, treatment, and long-term care. By focusing on all stages of the healthcare continuum, we can effectively manage health issues and reduce the strain on healthcare systems.

Furthermore, an adequate healthcare infrastructure, including medical facilities, skilled healthcare professionals, and advanced medical technologies, is essential. Decision makers should prioritise investments that enhance the capacity and capabilities of healthcare systems. Embracing innovation and leveraging technology can lead to transformative changes in healthcare delivery. The adoption of digital health solutions, AI, telemedicine, and data analytics will improve patient outcomes, optimise resource allocation, and enhance diagnostics and treatment. Investment in training, education, and retention strategies for healthcare professionals is crucial to ensure a skilled and motivated workforce that’s capable of meeting diverse healthcare needs. Collaboration between the public and private sectors can amplify the impact of healthcare initiatives, fostering partnerships that leveraging the expertise, resources, and innovation of both sectors to drive positive change.

A must do is prioritising preventive measures than can significantly reduce the burden on healthcare systems, by promoting public health campaigns, screenings, vaccinations, and lifestyle interventions to prevent diseases before they become chronic or acute. Encouraging research, data sharing, and evidence-based decision-making can lead to more effective healthcare policies and interventions by supporting initiatives that generate actionable insights and drive continuous improvement.

In my view, addressing health disparities is essential for achieving equitable healthcare access and outcomes, through policies designed specifically to target underserved populations and vulnerable groups to ensure that no one is left behind. Healthcare challenges are complex and multifaceted and require comprehensive, collaborative, and forward-thinking approaches. Societies should adopt long-term visions that transcend political cycles, focusing on sustainable solutions that deliver lasting benefits to society.

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