Answering the call to address the Coronavirus pandemic
We are turning to you at a time that is extraordinary in every respect—both for you and for us. The spread of COVID-19 poses unique challenges for societies around the world. As a global medical technology company, we stand by you and our partners in the healthcare system and are supporting you with a highly focused commitment in the fight against this pandemic. At the same time, we pursue innovative ways to deliver effective testing for COVID-19 patients as quickly as possible.
As we do so, we are at the same time taking resolute steps to protect the health and safety of our employees and their families, customers, patients, and communities. We want to assure you that we plan to be responsive and agile as we all work together to navigate this global health crisis. At the forefront is our commitment to help fight the pandemic by working with customers and partners and pursuing innovative ways to deliver effective testing for COVID-19 clinicians and patients as quickly as possible.
Siemens Healthineers answering the call on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
Siemens Healthineers is currently developing a molecular (real-time PCR) test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, with an intended release in limited quantities during April 2020.* We are actively working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to obtain Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL) for our kit. The SARS-CoV-2 Assay* under development is designed to utilize the same workflow, including PCR profile, as existing Fast Track Diagnostics Respiratory Disease kits.
Testing for SARS-CoV-2 is not the only need in managing COVID-19 patients. Fast, accurate screening and monitoring for the variety of health issues that may arise as part of COVID-19 disease management are also needed. Our diagnostics solutions are at your disposal to provide respiratory, infectious disease, hematology, hemostasis, blood gas, and other laboratory tests.
Customer service, business continuity, and virtual work
Siemens Healthineers Diagnostics is making every effort to address the impact of this situation with the utmost focus on the timeliness and quality of the work we do.
Many of our employees are now working virtually to provide safe social distancing to our employees whose work must be executed onsite, and we continually reinforce guidelines from the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent and/or slow the spread of this disease.
Our customer-facing teams, who provide onsite service and support at your laboratories are trained to keep everyone’s health as their priority. If you are scheduling service visits, please know that our teams are following government guidelines and customer protocols. Similarly, we look to you, our customers, to provide safe environments within your facilities for our Service Engineers and Technical Applications Specialists to perform these important services.
Our remote monitoring capabilities on a global scale allow us to provide a variety of remote services to those customers who have selected this option. Our teams will be in direct contact with you to recommend the appropriate deployment strategy as needed.
We’ve also taken the step of suspending onsite customer classroom training at our Tarrytown, NY, Glasgow, DE, and Cary, NC facilities in the United States. We made these decisions based on conditions in those local areas as well as a desire to avoid your need to travel for customer education at this time. Virtual classes will proceed as planned, and we will continue to monitor the situation very closely so that we can communicate any changes as soon as possible.
Across our entire business, from our R&D to Commercial operations, our teams are otherwise fully prepared to conduct all business-related engagements virtually while still supporting the important goal of delivering diagnostic solutions.
Manufacturing and supply distribution of analyzers, reagents and consumables
So far, our supply chains and production facilities have been resilient. Our global manufacturing footprint at Siemens Healthineers Laboratory Diagnostics includes plants in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All of our manufacturing sites have robust business continuity plans, which we continue to refine and will be ready to execute as needed. We are also giving priority to STAT or emergency tests—including cardiac, respiratory panels, infectious diseases, sepsis, coagulation, and blood gas assays—within our manufacturing and distribution operations.
To date, we have not experienced supply disruptions of raw materials as a result of COVID-19, and we have made safety stock provisions with a view to operating at planned levels. We are working closely with suppliers to identify potential risks in the early stages of the supply chain and assess and mitigate any impact. We will proactively engage with you if we foresee a likelihood of prolonged supply interruption. With current events rapidly evolving, Siemens Healthineers is monitoring the situation very closely and is prepared to respond appropriately.
Our distribution centers in the Americas (ADC) and Europe (EDC) have experienced some issues primarily unrelated to COVID-19 that are currently being addressed with vigorous measures, including accelerated processing above 50% of normal capacity at the ADC and implementing alternative measures to expedite bulk-shipments to the EDC (e.g., freight carriers and partner distribution points). We are proactively managing supply allocation and distribution with our customers and expect significant improvement by next week. We are closely monitoring the situation, pursuing other transit methods when available, and working collaboratively with our partners to minimize customer impact.
With current events rapidly evolving, Siemens Healthineers is monitoring the situation very closely and is prepared to respond appropriately.
Health and safety
The health and safety of our employees and their families, customers, patients and communities are our primary focus.
Health is who we are. It’s embedded in everything we do. Many of our employees in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America are working virtually, and we are assessing other locations daily. Our remote work protocols reinforce WHO and CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease by implementing social distancing. We are advising employees who feel unwell to follow guidelines from authorities for testing and treatment.
We are also following appropriate quarantine rules in alignment with the most up-to-date government guidance. Additionally, we have instituted supplemental cleaning and disinfection protocols in our sites.
Global and non-essential domestic travel
All non-business-critical travel has been restricted. Virtually enabled platforms will bridge our communities.
With evolving travel restrictions, our leaders are following all government restrictions and evaluating all meetings to make prudent decisions on how to optimize virtual connections. Our technology-empowered teams continue to meet business challenges and bring their collective expertise to our shared objectives.
We recognize this extraordinary challenge will facilitate new ways of working and collaborating. We value our relationship with you and the shared impact we can make for patients, and are committed to staying connected and supportive through this uncharted territory.
If you have specific questions, please contact your Siemens Healthineers business representative.
*This product is under development and not commercially available. Its future availability cannot be ensured.