“Education, Products, and Friendship”
President of the AO Foundation on the partnership with Siemens Healthcare

May 06, 2015

As imaging takes on an increasingly significant role in surgery, more and more surgeons are operating imaging systems themselves during minimally invasive procedures. The medical network AO Foundation promotes the training and continuing education of orthopedic surgeons. Since 2007, Siemens has supported the network as its exclusive imaging partner and regularly attends AO events to provide information and training on imaging in the OR. In this interview, the President of the AO Foundation, Prof. Suthorn Bavonratanavech talks about the present and future partnership between the AO Foundation and Siemens Healthcare.

More Information on AO Foundation

The AO Foundation is a medically guided non-profit organization led by an international group of surgeons specialized in the treatment of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Founded in 1958, today AO fosters one of the most extensive networks of currently more than 12,000 surgeons, operating room personnel, and scientists in over 100 countries.
Siemens Healthcare has always maintained a special relationship with this renowned organization. As the exclusive imaging partner, Siemens Healthcare has been supporting the training and education provided by the AO Foundation since 2007.

Prof. Bavonratanavech, what are the key factors for a successful partnership in your opinion?
Prof. Bavonratanavech: Any good partnership has to be transparent. It has to be fair so that both partners achieve some benefit. And it has to be based on honesty, there has to be open discussion between the partners.

What does the partnership between Siemens and the AO mean to you?
Prof. Bavonratanavech: At the end of the day, I believe that we both, the AO Foundation and Siemens, share the same goal: We want to improve the outcome for the patient. To achieve this, we realize that partnerships are very important. The AO Foundation is a global network that brings together surgeons who are really dedicated to achieving the best outcomes and also better patient care. And Siemens is recognized as one of the leaders in medical imaging, allowing for a better quality of the surgeon’s work. I think that by bringing together the surgeons with their clinical needs and Siemens as a leader in medical imaging, we can achieve our common goal and ultimately help the patients get better, sooner.

Where do you see the future of the partnership?
Prof. Bavonratanavech: Siemens and the AO Foundation have been working together for eight years now, and I hope our collaboration expands in the future. There is still a lot more we can do together – in educational terms and maybe also when it comes to further developing ideas or innovative products together.

So, if you could make a wish, what would you want people to think about the partnership between Siemens and the AO Foundation in ten years?
Prof. Bavonratanavech: Three things: Education, products, friendship. We at the AO Foundation are outstanding in the education of orthopedic surgeons. And this, for me, will remain forever. Education is what the surgeons always remember because it enables them to bring what they learned to their practice, to prevent complications, and achieve a good outcome for their patients. I want our partnership to be one that offers education in medical imaging and teaches the surgeons to use fully the potential of imaging for the benefit of their patients. And, when it comes to radiation especially, surgeons have to understand how to protect themselves and the whole team in the operating theater. That would be the first thing.

Concerning the product: It would be great if we could create something together that people will notice and say: “Oh, this product comes from Siemens and the surgeons at the AO Foundation.” I don’t yet know what this could be, but we should come together and think about that.

And, finally, friendship – something that is difficult to measure. But it really is the basis for everything. Without friendship, you will never be able to work together. And we really have established friendship and trust through our long-time collaboration. And I hope that the partnership with Siemens will continue for many more years to come.

Thank you very much for the interview, Prof. Bavonratanavech!


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