Perspective - Interview

Making a headway in the Middle East

TRUMPF Medical Systems is making inroads in the Middle East with sales for its solutions for OR and ICU booming in the past few months. Callan Emery speaks to Lars Michel, the company’s regional director.

German company TRUMPF Medical Systems has opened an office in Dubai Healthcare City to cater to the growing demand for their products in the region. Along with the office, the company also set up advanced OR and ICU simulation rooms where they can demonstrate the use of their latest products and innovative solutions to prospective clients. The centre forms a knowledge platform for medical consultants, physicians, surgeons and clinical staff as well as hospital planners and designers – one that TRUMPF also benefits from.

“Since we opened the Dubai office earlier in 2008, we have had a marked increase in interest for our innovative solutions,” says Lars Michel, Regional Director, Middle East and Africa, TRUMPF Medical Systems.

“By having dialogue with our customers we find out the right solutions and can implement them immediately,” explains Michel. “The free exchange with and between customers offers us valuable stimulus for new projects and developments. Many of our innovations have arisen thanks to this tight cooperation with the users. This is a proven TRUMPF concept that we can increasingly implement in the Middle East thanks to the centre.”

TRUMPF specialises in advanced medical solutions for the OR and ICU. These include state-of-the-art OR system tables, LED OR lighting systems with built-in High Definition (HD) video cameras, and ceiling pendant solutions for optimal space management.

TRUMPF began making “a serious push on this market two years ago”. However, the process of setting up a representative office in Dubai to serve the Middle East and Africa markets was only concretised in March 2008.

Although the Middle East is still a relatively new market for TRUMPF Medical Systems – accounting for around 10% of the company’s global medical business – the past several months have seen a sharp increase in sales. “Since July we have taken more than 90 orders for our OR and ICU systems,” Michel adds. “This is excellent considering the short time we’ve been here.” Some of these orders include a huge deal to provide OR iLED lights for MoH hospitals in Iraq; completely equipping 20 ICUs and 4 ORs at King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh; the equipping of 4 ORs at Dubai Healthcare City’s Medical Suites; and the provision of OR lighting for 5 ORs at Specialty Hospital in Amman.

“In high-end systems for the OR and ICU, we are have gained a considerable market share worldwide,” Michel points out. “We reached this position fairly rapidly after we introduced the iLED OR lighting system a few years ago. Although it is a relatively more expensive lighting system, over the long-term there are definite cost-saving benefits.

“Because of its sophisticated LED technology and superior light quality in the surgical field, it is in high demand by the surgeons,” he says. “The surgeons appreciate the shadow free light as well as the adjustable colour temperature, which enhances tissue contrast on the surgical site and improves their working conditions. To date, we have installed 6,000 iLED systems worldwide.”

Patient transfer system

“An important concept we are now actively promoting and have already sold in the region is the patient transfer systems for OR & ICU department. These systems are used extensively in Europe and have been successfully introduced to the American market,” Michel says.

“We believe that efficient processes as well as cost is becoming increasingly important in hospitals in the region. Efficient patient transfer systems been shown to significantly reduce hospital costs by optimising OR capacity utilisation and decreasing patient preparation time. It also enhances patient safety and creates better work environment for the nursing staff.” Michel points out that ORs are profit centres in hospitals and so must be run efficiently. Reducing operational costs in the ICU and improving patient and staff safety are also major goals of any healthcare facility.

The solution for the OR

The TRUMPF patient transfer concept for the OR has been recently optimised by the latest development – TruSystem 7500.

“The TruSystem is a new generation of operating tables. The exchangeable table tops facilitate patient transfer within the OR department without having to shift the patient. The patient remains on the same table top during the entire OR process, from the preparation room to the OR and to the recovery room following surgery.

The patients on the table tops are wheeled back and forth to the stationary Orbiter transfer unit, another component of the transfer system, at the intersection of sterile and non-sterile areas at the entrance of OR department. This Orbiter unit is used to transfer the patients from their beds to the mobile table tops and vice versa.

“In one of our projects in Cleveland, United States, this system has helped the OR department to decrease their non-operative time by 37% and reduce the turnover time by 38%,” Michel says.

The solution for the ICU

TRUMPF’s IMEC (Interdisciplinary Medical Equipment Carrier) transport system makes intensive care transport considerably safer and saves up to 40% in pre-op and post-op time.

The ICU at the Nuremberg Hospital, North Germany, has used and tested the product for about a year. The principle idea behind IMEC is for it to function as a connector between the ceiling-mounted and mobile medical supply units, to be compatible with medical and technical equipment of all types and machine brands – from IV management to respiration systems and monitoring systems – and to dock onto all conventional intensive care beds. All supply lines and cables are protected against strong pulls or even breakages; the patients remain securely connected to the IV and life support devices during the entire transport. IMEC also provides space for an emergency bag, a gas bottle holder and a suction system. Despite a loading capacity of up to 65 kilogrammes, the unit, consisting of bed and IMEC that can be securely connected in any situation, can be comfortably moved by two nursing staff. It can even be maneuvered in a tight space and fit into any elevator that is three metres long.

“This all ties in with patient flow dynamics – the route a patient takes as he is moved around the hospital from diagnostic to treatment to recovery – and we’re making a concerted effort to show architects and hospital planners as well as medical consultants in the region the importance of these systems and demonstrate how it can save time and money and reduce risk of injury,” says Michel.

“Although we focus only on the OR and ICU, patient flow systems are important to us as the OR and ICU is at the core of any hospital.”

ate of upload: 25th January 2009

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