Critical Care & COVID-19
We are committed to support front-line healthcare professionals and help them to deliver high-value critical care to patients at each stage of COVID-19 disease management: diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and follow-up.
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic
We are fully committed to supporting our partners in the healthcare system to provide the best possible care for patients.
Are you looking for COVID-19 related information? Please check out our dedicated content sections:
COVID-19 response ꟷ Clinical
Real-time PCR helps identify RNA from SARS-CoV-2
The new FTD SARS-CoV-2 real time PCR Assay (RUO)1 from Siemens Healthineers is now available2 for molecular laboratories. A dual-target design for SARS-CoV-2 identification provides assay robustness and optimal sensitivity, specificity, and inclusivity. The FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay uses the same assay setup protocol and thermal-cycling profile as all FTD respiratory pathogens kits from Siemens Healthineers.3
Comprehensive lab testing
Fast, accurate detection and monitoring for health issues that may arise as part of COVID-19 disease management are critical. Our comprehensive portfolio of systems and extensive menu in immunoassay, chemistry, hematology, hemostasis, molecular, and urinalysis, in conjunction with automation, informatics, and services, can help support the essential role of laboratory diagnostics. We are expanding infectious-disease testing capabilities to address the COVID-19 pandemic, developing a SARS-CoV-2 laboratory serology assay4 to detect presence of IgM and IgG antibodies in blood, helping indicate whether a person has developed immunity. An antibody test can reveal if a person had COVID-19 even if they were asymptomatic or never diagnosed with the disease.
Manage patients in triage locations
In order to help inform clinical decisions during the COVID-19 crisis, labs need systems that are easy to install and run with broad menus to test patients for other related or unrelated medical conditions that may exist. Our compact, integrated chemistry and immunoassay testing system5 provides a simple user interface to rapidly mobilize testing with quick turnaround times for certain critical tests. A disposable, sealed cuvette design may help reduce contact with potentially infectious sample mixtures and aerosols.
Managing coagulation abnormalities in COVID-19 patients
While it’s not unusual for infections to raise the risk of clotting, COVID-19 is associated with an unprecedented range of clotting-related disorders in COVID-19 patients. Coagulation testing plays an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of coagulation abnormalities in these patients. Siemens Healthineers is supporting labs to best perform coagulation testing. Our efforts include increased production of vital coagulation assays, and compiled knowledge on current coagulation testing and monitoring recommendations.
Blood gas systems are used in the management of ventilated patients under respiratory distress
The RAPIDPoint® 500e Blood Gas System and epoc® Blood Analysis System are essential analyzers supporting COVID-19 response efforts, where blood gas testing plays a critical role in managing infected patients and monitoring their respiratory distress. The analyzers integrate seamlessly into hospital networks with the Point of Care Ecosystem™, which offers remote management of operators and devices.
Urinalysis supports the follow-up phase of the COVID-19 patient pathway
Urinalysis testing enables clinicians to monitor patients’ renal function, which can be impacted by COVID-19. The presence of protein would prompt additional testing, as various types of proteins can indicate different disease states or conditions. Urinalysis reagent strips screen for albumin and calculate an albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). ACR normalizes urine concentration to more accurately detect adverse traces of albumin in urine, which can indicate potential kidney damage.
Computed Tomography (CT) images used in evaluation of infectious disease
High resolution chest CT images help assess the severity of the lung involvement in COVID-19 patients, especially those with severe symptoms. This includes evaluation of the progression and remission of the disease.6 Scanners of the SOMATOM go. platform provide high resolution lung imaging and are recommended for fast delivery requests in areas where COVID-19 is prevalent. The innovative mobile CT workflow of SOMATOM go. platform scanners permits technologists to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m (5 ft) from potentially infected patients. These scanners can also be installed in mobile units to provide access in high-demand or in isolated areas. Furthermore, many of our CT simulators usually being used for radiation treatment planning, can be used to support the diagnosis of COVID-19 based pneumonia.
Evaluation of pneumonia with radiography
Radiography supports initial assessment of severity and monitoring of disease progression. Chest radiographs can show characteristic signs of viral acquired pneumonia. MULTIX Impact is a flexible, modular radiography system which covers a wide range of clinical requirements. Siemens Healthineers offers specific solutions for deployment in temporary COVID-19 diagnostic and therapeutic setups. These systems can also be installed in in stationary indoor and outdoor container solutions to provide access in high-demand or in isolated areas.
Monitoring and triaging of pneumonia with mobile radiography
Mobile radiography systems help with the monitoring of disease progression in particularly severe cases. The devices can be driven directly to patients in the intensive care unit, for example, eliminating the need for patients to be transported through the hospital. MOBILETT Elara Max offers improved hygienic conditions thanks to antimicrobial coating, fully integrated cables, and smooth and closed surfaces.
Cios mobile C-arms – an option for lung imaging
Current literature suggests chest radiography as a staging or triaging option in COVID-19 patients.7 Mobile C-arms are not specifically designed for COVID-19 diagnosis. Cios Alpha and Cios Spin can provide high-quality chest digital radiography (DR) images8 when portable X-ray is not available. Cios mobile C-arms can be positioned flexibly according to the imaging needs in standing, sitting or lying patients. The systems offer antimicrobial coating, smooth and closed surfaces and approved cleaning and draping protocols for infection control.
Fast, simple and mobile ultrasound imaging
Ultrasound provides a fast, simple and portable clinical imaging solution when scanning for Coronavirus. Ultrasound machines used today for COVID-19 include the ACUSON P500™, designed to support clinicians with ultrasound applications that include lung, cardiac and FAST exams, as well as interventional procedures at the bedside.
Magnetic Resonance (MR) images to support physicians in detecting cardiac injury
Recent studies in China and Italy9,10,11 have indicated that myocardial injury is common among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and is associated with a higher risk of in-hospital mortality. Cardiovascular MRI (CMR) can be useful in supporting physicians detect and monitor cardiac injury (e.g. myocarditis) as a possible complication of COVID-19, according to the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR). To support CMR we offer SCMR Recommended Protocols, clinically optimized exam protocols for 1.5 and 3T MAGNETOM systems, for download. To help perform comprehensive CMR exams, we also offer a free, 90 days trial license for our standardization and automation technology Cardiac Dot Engine.12
COVID-19 response ꟷ Operational
Radiation Therapy CT Simulators can help extend capacity for CT imaging
Modern CT Simulators provide the same high resolution diagnostic capabilities as CT scanners in radiology. They have access to lung imaging protocols allowing the entire lung to be covered in less than 10 seconds. Innovations like the tablet-based mobile workflow allows technologists to maintain a safe distance from potentially infected patients.13 Automating routine workflows such as contouring of Organs At Risk with syngo.via based AI AutoContouring helps save time in radiation therapy departments, which can help extend capacity for CT imaging.
Hybrid molecular imaging systems can help extend capacity for CT imaging
Modern hybrid molecular imaging systems can be used as standalone Computed Tomography (CT) systems to perform a full range of CT applications, including high resolution lung imaging protocols. Biograph™ PET/CT and Symbia™ SPECT/CT systems can be used as standalone Computed Tomography systems.14 Based on your individual strategy to separate COVID-19 patients from other patients and staff, these scanners can and perform high resolution chest CT imaging to aid in assessing the severity of the lung involvement in COVID-19 patients, or serve as back-up for non-COVID-19 patient backlog.
Remote scanning assistance to ensure care continuity
Remote operations may help reduce staff exposure to infectious patients and may allow employees, who are under quarantine, to continue working. syngo Virtual Cockpit enables remote scanning assistance to imaging personnel – regardless of their geographic location. Assistance can even be provided from home with a simple laptop.15 With syngo Virtual Cockpit, your best technologists can assist on up to three exams at once, distributing their skills and experience across sites in real time.
syngo Virtual Cockpit Lite offers remote scanning assistance from any networked computer within your facility, and enables access to one scanner at a time using syngo Expert-i.
Access to radiological experts to overcome limited reading capacities
As the demand for diagnosis of COVID-19 cases increases, healthcare providers are challenged to secure or even ramp up capacity of expert radiologists, despite potential staff shortages from quarantine or sick leave. Simple, flexible, and scalable access to expert radiologists can help to master increasing case volume or to overcome staff shortage in radiology departments. BEFUND24 provides access to expert radiologists, who provide written, digitally documented, expert-validated medical reports, reliably at high quality. It also manages data transfer as well as administrative and financial processes.
Supporting radiologists in COVID-19 evaluation by applying Artificial Intelligence to images
AI-powered analysis of chest images has the potential to alleviate the workload of radiologists by supporting them to diagnose and evaluate diseases. To help address the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing AI algorithms for trial and clinical routine. The research prototype CT Pneumonia Analysis16 is designed to automatically identify and quantify abnormal patterns in the lung, which can be associated with COVID-19, and to compute severity measures. Beyond research, the AI-Rad Companion Chest X-ray17 automatically characterizes radiographic findings for lung X-ray, including atelectasis and consolidations, which correlate with signs of COVID-19 induced pneumonia.
Supervising infected patients at home
Keeping patients with no or mild symptoms out of doctor’s offices, emergency clinics or hospitals is essential, particularly during times of peak demand. Home quarantine and self-monitoring can be an option for health authorities; yet it is crucial that these patients continue to receive supervision. The remote care management solution for COVID-19 remotely connects patients – for example those in quarantine – with physicians. It promptly informs physicians of the progress of potential COVID-19 symptoms, making it possible to monitor these symptoms and take appropriate action. This may help free up inpatient capacity for COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms.18
Sharing image studies to expand reading expertise and capacities
Digital collaboration capabilities can enable staff to support clinical personnel in high-demand areas remotely and may allow employees who are under quarantine to continue to assist in reading images. Participation of expert radiologists located in different time zones can allow shared images to be reviewed efficiently. teamplay Images is a secure, cloud-based image sharing service for DICOM files.19 It provides access to imaging studies quickly and easily from desktop computers or tablets and enables secured sharing and discussion of relevant cases beyond the institution. teamplay Images is easily deployed through teamplay digital health platform.
A communication app for medical professionals
Social distancing and the prevention of unnecessary exposure to potentially infectious patients are the most effective measures to protect medical staff, especially at times when demand is high. New, digital ways of augmenting communication and collaboration reduce the need for personal interaction. Join can help health systems to create new ways of working, aiming to protect staff and increase employee availability beyond physical locations. Join20 enables medical professionals to collaborate from anywhere at any time via chat, audio, video calls, and sharing of documents and medical images. Join is easily deployed through teamplay digital health platform.
Build up workforce capacity in areas of high demand
The rapid spread of COVID-19 cases, combined with the absence of employees because of quarantine or sick leave, presents significant risk and challenges to healthcare providers who must secure and even ramp up capacity. We offer workforce solutions that provide highly skilled radiographers, trained and supported by Siemens Healthineers. FlexForce Tech21 is a service where we address workforce challenges with flexible contract terms. Workforce Responders, who are Applications Specialists from Siemens Healthineers, are additional workforce members who can assume the roles of technicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting equipment performance remotely
Real-time 24/7 system monitoring, proactive, remote and digital services such as our Guardian Program, LifeNet or Smart Remote Services can increase the required uptime. When no access to a facility is possible, Siemens Healthineers Smart Remote Services (SRS) experts can use advanced troubleshooting tools to remotely restore operations.22 Our application support assists with real-time access to application experts and our LifeNet online portal enables 24/7 performance and maintenance management of critical equipment.
Online education and knowledge resources on COVID-19
As healthcare providers and care teams are looking for knowledge and education on equipment applications, imaging protocols, and examination workflows, we are continuously expanding our education and knowledge hub PEPconnect. Regularly we are creating new resources, including video tutorials, to share relevant information on best use for our pathway related equipment, as well as general information on COVID-19.
Rapid Activation Management Consulting Services
The COVID-19 pandemic shapes a situation, in which the ability to respond rapidly is crucial. In some cases, healthcare providers may not have the necessary capacity and means to quickly plan and activate processes required to address the current public health emergency. Rapid Activation Management Consulting Services enable healthcare providers to address the immediate needs to manage increased demand, patient workflows, support financial repositioning, and set up new facilities or repurpose existing ones.
CT and X-ray imaging where it is needed
Most COVID-19 centers are confronted with an immediate need to increase system capacity. To support in these cases, Enterprise Services from Siemens Healthineers offers simple and standardized solutions to optimize room preparation and planning for CT and X-ray imaging. We offer guidance and complete planning regarding radiation protection for imaging rooms aimed at being suitable for COVID-19 centers, e.g. modular building, implementation in exhibition area or similar approaches.
COVID-19 response ꟷ Additional Resources
ECG Management Consultants – trusted advice on COVID-19
As your organization serves your community, ECG Management Consultants – A Siemens Healthineers Company – can offer support. We are providing accurate and actionable intelligence on COVID-19 preparedness and response as quickly as possible. Every day, our experts in healthcare strategy, finance, operations, and technology are sharing strategic and tactical, real-world approaches on how to help mitigate the effects of this crisis.
1Currently for Research Use Only (RUO). Siemens Healthineers is pursuing FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and WHO Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL) certification.
2Available in limited quantities in April 2020.
3Visit fast-trackdiagnostics.com for a list of compatible instruments. Customers are responsible for validating the assay on instruments listed in the compatibility list.
4In development; not available for sale. Future availability cannot be guaranteed.
5Product availability may vary from country to country and is subject to varying regulatory requirements.
6Walker et al.: Imaging Pulmonary Infection: Classic Signs and Patterns AJR:202, March 2014
7Pan et al. Intensive Care Med 2020;46:573-575; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-020-05964-0
8Gildea et al. J Bronchol Intervent Pulmonol 2020;27:153-155; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32209919
9Shi S, Qin M, Shen B, et al. Association of Cardiac Injury With Mortality in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. JAMA Cardiol. Published online March 25, 2020.
10Guo T, Fan Y, Chen M, et al. Cardiovascular Implications of Fatal Outcomes of Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). JAMA Cardiol. Published online March 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1017
11Inciardi RM, Lupi L, Zaccone G, et al. Cardiac Involvement in a Patient With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). JAMA Cardiol. Published online March 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1096
12Not available in all countries.
13Mobile workflow is available on the SOMATOM go. Platform.
14Symbia T and Intevo Excel are not indicated for use as a Standalone CT
15A secure VPN connection to the department network is required. Other appropriately trained personnel must be in the room to care for patient, position the patient, and manually start the scan.
16For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
17AI-Rad Companion Chest X-ray is currently not for sales in the United States and other selected countries.
18Remote Care Management solution for COVID-19 is not part of teamplay myCare Companion. This solution is developed, sold and distributed by Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) in cooperation with telbiomed Medizintechnik und IT Service GmbH. For further information please contact your local Siemens Healthineers organization
19The DICOM viewer is not intended for diagnostic display. Due to regulations data exchange between data center regions is restricted. The products/features/service offerings are not commercially available in all countries. If the services are not marketed in countries due to regulatory or other reasons, the service offering cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens organization for further details.
20Siemens Healthineers is neither the provider nor reseller nor legal manufacturer of the 3rd party applications in Siemens Healthineers Store. Any claims made for 3rd party applications and all warranty obligations are the sole responsibility of the legal manufacturer and not Siemens Healthineers. Additionally, the 3rd party applications mentioned may not be commercially available in all countries.
21Service only available in USA and Germany (German name: MTRA on Demand), this is released for all in-vivo modalities, not for in-vitro.
22Precondition: the equipment needs to be connected to Smart Remote Services (SRS).
The products/features and/or service offerings (here mentioned) are not commercially available in all countries and/or for all modalities. If the services are not marketed in countries due to regulatory or other reasons, the service offering cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens Healthineers organization for further details.
Due to high demand, availability in certain regions may be affected, please contact your local Siemens Healthineers organization for details.