A leap in cancer care

A leap in impact

Elisabeth Staudinger

Elisabeth Staudinger

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ELISABETH STAUDINGER is currently President of the Asia Pacific Region within Siemens Healthineers. Leading a team of over 8000 people who are passionate about shaping the future of healthcare, is her source of inspiration.

Kenneth Tan

Kenneth Tan

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KENNETH TAN is the President for the region for Varian, now a Siemens Healthineers company that has been in cancer care for more than 70 years. AHHM has interviewed them together to get some insights on the recent combination of the two innovation leaders in healthcare.

Siemens Healthineers and Varian share a vision for shaping the future of healthcare and creating a world without fear of cancer, thereby strengthening its position as a holistic partner in healthcare. The combined company is creating a unique, highly integrated portfolio of imaging, laboratory diagnostics, digital and AI offerings, radiation therapy, interventional oncology and surgery for the global fight against cancer with significant potential for increased value creation.

Together a step ahead

They divide uncontrollably, tapping into blood vessels and invading neighboring tissues. The malignant cells spread into the body’s organs, bone marrow, or lymphatic vessels, causing one of humanity’s greatest scourges – cancer. Just a few generations ago, doctors and patients were defenseless against its ravages. Today, thanks to modern medicine, cancer treatments are getting better all the time, and many cases can even be cured. Still, of all the lives lost to cancer globally, about a third of them could be saved each year by better prevention, early detection and treatment.

Siemens Healthineers and Varian have recently joined forces. What is the vision of this combination?

ELISABETH: Siemens Healthineers and Varian came together as one united company on April 15th this year. We are now combining our strengths and are taking a leap in cancer care, and a leap in the impact on healthcare overall by accelerating the path from diagnosis to survivorship in one joint step. Our common goal is to ensure that every patient receives the right treatment at the right time. We want oncologists, physicians and clinicians to be supported as effectively as possible to take on the challenges caused by cancer. As combined companies, Siemens Healthineers and Varian are now teaming up to shape the future of healthcare and work toward a world without fear of cancer.

Give us a little bit of background, Kenneth, what is the burden of cancer in the Asia Pacific region?

KENNETH: It is estimated that there will be around 29 million new cancer cases globally by 2040 and half of those cancer cases and deaths are projected to occur in Asia1. In many countries, cancer has become the second most common cause of death after heart disease. Leading causes of cancer death in Asia are lung, liver and stomach cancer and there are still stark disparities in the five year survival rate between the countries. We know about 57 per cent of the total number of cancer cases occur in low and middle income countries, yet, more than 50 per cent of those cancer patients requiring radiotherapy lack access to treatment2. Especially in India and many of the ASEAN countries, we must increase access for patients. This is where our transformative combination can make an impact to improve early diagnosis.

It’s been a few months since the combination. What feedback are you getting from healthcare providers so far?

ELISABETH: So far, we have received very positive feedback on our combination. What providers and clinicians are expecting is to ultimately achieve better clinical outcomes at lower cost. Considering the constant challenge to do more with less, staff shortages and increased disease burden, there simply aren’t enough resources to take care of patients. Not surprisingly, there is the clear expectation that we will be able to create innovative solutions that result in more efficient and effective patient care leading to more precise treatments at lower costs. Also, end-to-end solutions across the continuum of cancer care are seen as a key driver for better clinical outcomes.

KENNETH: Adding on to what Elisabeth has mentioned, what we aim to achieve really goes in line with what our combination is all about. We consider ourselves as global pioneers in the field of medical technology, and we are now united by a common aspiration to help people live longer and healthier lives.

Through accelerating our digital and AI offerings, broadening the scope of our service networks and combining our technology and oncology expertise - we aim to improve how diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, interventional oncology and surgery can be coordinated and combined to beat cancer.

How do you feel personally about this combination? This has been one of the biggest milestones for Siemens Healthineers.

ELISABETH: I’ve really been personally touched by the purpose of Varian, which is to create a world without fear of cancer. I am convinced that together, we can make a difference for millions of patients and their families and loved ones. Especially in our region, there is a huge unmet need that we’ve outlined before where we can make an impact. Globally, we will now be a team of over 65000 highly skilled people that share the same vision of shaping the future of healthcare.

KENNETH: This combination represents a big leap in providing quality healthcare to patients across this region. To me, it accelerates the company’s impact on global healthcare and establishes an even stronger partner for customers and patients along the entire cancer care continuum.

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