由 Carol Ko
, Staff Writer | December 03, 2013
Samsung's return to RSNA this year comes amid ongoing industry buzz around the consumer electronics giant's highly public bid to establish a footprint in health care.
To get an insider's look into the company's vision going forward, DOTmed News was able to sit down with Wayne Spittle, executive vice president at Samsung Medison, to pick his brain on health apps, technology crossover from the retail side, and most importantly, the company's next move.
DMN: I understand that you were previously at Philips Healthcare before joining Samsung. How has your transition been?
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It's been really good. Samsung has that history of innovation in its culture, and that's the exciting bit about it — to come in this job and really take some of what we can do and use innovative history and make it work.
My role previously was more in sales/technical. My new role is more involved in using the voice of the customer to get product design and innovation through — very relevant for the patient experience.
Samsung is very much consumer-based and bringing that into the business-to-business side is exciting because it's a fresh view on issues. You take a lot of consumer product design and conception over to health care and you can imagine where it might go!
DMN: That actually ties in neatly with my next question: we're seeing this interesting parallel track of sleeker, smaller diagnostic imaging technologies on the one hand and increasingly sophisticated smartphone-based medical functionality on the other. Do you see these two things eventually merging in the middle?
We've already started on that concept — we have a product called MoVue where you can send the images directly from the X-ray system to your tablet. We have another product in women's health care called Hello Mom where you can transmit ultrasound images directly over the mom's phone or take images with the phone — it brings a real intimate side to patient care.
I agree that those two tracks are on a pathway going parallel, but sooner or later they will merge and come together. That's when you'll need the clinical validation.
If you see the potential capabilities of our S-Health application — you can see where this is going and the potential we have for overall health care. That's something we can work on further.
DMN: Everyone says you're in a unique position to leverage your consumer electronics technology and bring it over to health care, and I'd be interested to hear more about that.
So we're already innovating detectors and X-ray — we've developed two new detectors that have the best dose efficiency in the market. We can get better images because of the way we actually direct deposit TFT photodiodes, proprietary technology that's already used in our consumer electronics products, in the detector. We can give less dose while getting better images.
There's a big expectation generally about what Samsung can do — we have the ability to innovate new products that bring technology to a new level. That's what we'll do. So many people in the past have said, oh Samsung can't do that. And then we prove them wrong.
DMN: Any indications for where the company might put its focus next in terms of products?
So we're continuing to expand our product portfolios. Before, our ultrasound machines were focused on women's health care — now we launched our point-of-care devices. We see a lot of potential in many areas, like portable CTs in the trauma room. It really shows our commitment to global health care.