Martin Törnvik talks about the innovations and improvements currently going on in the world of medical imaging.
“The surgeon needs more accurate image-guidance tools when performing minimal invasive surgery to be able to be safe and more accurate”
Medical imaging has the potential to play a central role in the global healthcare system as research increases and improves. What role does research and innovation play at Ziehm Imaging?
Martin Törnvik. Research and development plays an extremely important and central role in our company. We invest more then 10 percent of our company turnover in R&D each year. We have a core competence in developing X-ray generators, imaging systems and software for image processing and are the key components for us to provide mobile interventional imaging systems today and tomorrow. We are focused and devoted to mobile C-arm solutions for many different applications in interventional imaging. As these are our only products and we need to stay ahead of our competitors we are working to differentiate our products and provide better solutions.
There is no doubt that clinical applications are continuing to dominate the healthcare industry. In your opinion, which clinical application offers the biggest growth opportunity and why?
MT. I would say that one of the biggest growth opportunities in the healthcare industry will be the increase of minimal invasive surgery procedures. This is focused on the patient being in the hospital for a short a time as possible and taking care of the patient without the need for big surgical intervention. This generates many positive effects in healthcare and industry overall. It impacts us specifically since minimal invasive surgery techniques means the demand of high-level imaging support in real-time is increasing tremendously. The surgeon needs more accurate image-guidance tools when performing minimal invasive surgery to be able to be safe and more accurate. The need for intraoperative, high-level subtraction angiography solutions, as well in many cases the need for 3D or multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) imaging, especially in spinal surgery application, will increase driving new flexible solutions, which is positive in the view of investments to the hospitals.
Last year's economic recession impacted industries around the world. What influence did it have on Ziehm Imaging and how did you go about tackling the associated challenges?
MT. We saw the impact from the recession in healthcare last year of course and undoubtedly some countries were effected more then some others, but in general business for us developed quite well and we had anyhow a reasonable growth of five percent last year. Crucial to that was that we were able to stay focused and work closely with our partners and distributors around the world, looking at each deal and what we could do to support and help out to get the purchase order. We had to be much more flexible in order to find solutions and of course great teamwork in the company is essential for accomplishing that. Employees in all departments across the company pulled together and worked hard last year and that I am very proud about that.
Where do you expect to see innovations in mobile imaging over the next five years and beyond? Can you give some examples?
MT. I see highly increased improvements of image quality in the image guidance procedure and the possibility of using mobile interventional imaging to very high demanding procedures, which are today fixed installed systems. I see believe that the radiation dose will be reduced dramatically further with more advanced image processing and digital technology. Further innovations in improving workflow, ergonomics and user-interface will also be in big focus the next few years. We need to take better care of the user that needs to handle the intraoperative imaging solution in critical situations where everything has to work easily and simply with excellent results.
Martin Törnvik, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing of Ziehm Imaging GmbH, joined the company in 2003 as a Product Manager. He has 20 years of experience in the healthcare business. His track record included responsibilities in the position of Service Engineer, Sales Engineer, Sales Director and Business Manager.