Siemens MR manager gets practical

June 19, 1991

Siemens has increased its share of the U.S. magnetic resonanceimaging market over the last few years, but the imaging firm hasa distance to go before it can beat GE in the MRI marketing game. The German vendor is intent, however, on focusing its

Siemens has increased its share of the U.S. magnetic resonanceimaging market over the last few years, but the imaging firm hasa distance to go before it can beat GE in the MRI marketing game.

The German vendor is intent, however, on focusing its engineeringprowess on practical MRI applications that can deliver greaterclinical benefits--and system sales, said Roger Radke, MR productmanager.

Radke replaced Chris Ruebeck in the product manager positionat Siemens Medical Systems in Iselin, NJ, in April. Ruebeck isnow a field product specialist based in the Washington, DC, area.

The new product manager was transferred to the U.S. from Siemensworld medical headquarters in Erlangen, Germany, last year andspent seven months as a technical manager for MRI.

Radke has an academic background, holding a doctorate in chemistry.The subject of his doctoral studies was MR spectroscopy. He joinedSiemens in 1989 as an applications specialist.

Siemens believes it can function best as a worldwide operatingcompany by transferring people and information across borders.This transfer occurs not only from Germany to the U.S., but inall directions between Europe, America and Japan, he said.

The MR executive can expect to return to Germany in a yearor two, taking with him an increased understanding of the U.S.market and clinical requirements. In the meantime, he travelsacross the Atlantic about once a month.

ABOUT HALF OF SIEMENS' MR BUSINESS is in the U.S., Radke said.The vendor has more than 300 systems installed in this market,including some early 0.5-tesla units from 1983 that are stillrunning, he said.

Since those early days, Siemens has opted to stay with 1.5-and 1-tesla high-field units. It has about a 36% share of theU.S. high-field MRI market. This share has been growing at a fasterpace than the market in general, Radke said.

Siemens wants to increase this position in MRI by making sureits products are used in everyday clinical applications ratherthan extended R&D.

The vendor attempts to predict clinical demand for MRI applicationsin six, 12 and 24 months, and positions itself to provide thosecapabilities on standard Magnetom scanners with minimal additionalcosts to the user, he said.

"We want to provide highly sophisticated technology foreverybody. This means making sure that, when a feature is developed,it is not just a works-in-progress for three or four academiccenters, but is related to clinical use," Radke said.

Siemens can boost the power and speed of routine imaging proceduresby offering magnetic resonance angiography, fast three-dimensionalimaging and proton spectroscopy on standard MR systems, he said.

"We want to make technologies like angiography, turboFLASH(fast MRI) and spectroscopy available for every Siemens site inthe world today," he said.

Improvements in MRI speed and power enable users to keep aheadof declining reimbursement for examinations. A brain study withMR angiography can be performed in 15 minutes, including timefor positioning and removing the patient, he said.

"High throughput sites can do a maximum of four patientsan hour with only conventional hardware and software. This correspondsto 35 patients for a standard, eight-hour day," Radke said."As reimbursement is cut down, the natural answer is to increasethroughput and speed up protocols."

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Mitchell M. Goldburgh left Philips Medical Systems NorthAmerica to join Sony Medical last month as marketing manager forstorage information systems. He had served as marketing managerfor computed radiography and PACS at PMSNA in Shelton, CT.

Goldburgh's move follows that of fellow Philips manager AnthonyLombardo, who left his position as director of Philips' internationalPACS business late last year and joined Sony Medical in Montvale,NJ, as vice president of sales and marketing (SCAN 1/16/91).

  • Picker International has hired Larry S. Rice as marketingmanager for the Cleveland imaging vendor's nuclear magnetic resonancedivision. Rice will be responsible for strategic planning, productmarketing, clinical applications and marketing communicationsfor Picker's worldwide NMR business. Rice served previously asdirector of global business and account development for BaileyControls.

"(Rice's) expertise in international business and themarketing of advanced technologies enables him to contribute significantlyto our growth," said Surya Mohapatra, NMR division vice president.