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Battling the coronavirus with smart software

Getinge’s German sales organization and the company’s IT team have created a groundbreaking digital platform that helps to fight the coronavirus COVID-19. The software creates a visual map of all Getinge ECMO systems in Germany –enabling available equipment to be deployed rapidly to regions with urgent needs.

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“This initiative has a major human and economic impact. We can better utilise existing resources and make sufficient intensive care capacity available precisely where patients need it,” says Josef Hinterberger, President Sales for Getinge’s DACH region, which includes Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Getinge's ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) systems Cardiohelp and Rotaflow, which replace the lung function by oxygenating the patient’s blood outside the body, can be used to treat COVID-19 patients with acute cardiopulmonary failure.

However, since ECMO systems are not always available where they are urgently needed, the German sales organization and Getinge’s IT team GExplore focused on the idea to make it possible to locate these systems at the touch of a button and deploy them rapidly to meet regional demand.

Kerstin Lutz, Business Manager Cardiopulmonary, Advanced Monitoring and Cardiac Assist in the DACH region, explains:

“To begin with, we needed a solid overview. Where are our ECMO devices? Are they currently in use? And where in Germany are there patients who may need these devices to survive the disease? With that data available, we could link requirements profiles and patient data to available resources.”

Getinge has around 30 flexible devices on the market in Germany. In addition, all devices permanently installed in clinics were also included in the overview.

At the same time, the company asked the Robert Koch Institute, which is Germany’s leading governmental biomedicine institution, for access to data about daily regional coronavirus case figures.

“Merging this information enables us to analyse COVID-19 hotspots on a day-by-day basis and make resources available quickly. Our goal is to be able to deliver an ECMO system to a COVID-19 patient who needs it within eight hours,” says Kerstin Lutz.

She adds: “This is an example of how Getinge wants to go beyond just delivering devices and providing training on how to use them. We also want to be available to our customers as a reliable partner and offer solutions in times of severe crisis.”

Josef Hinterberger concludes: “Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be able to use cognitive computing to optimize logistics times for delivering equipment. In the future it may also be possible to not only include Getinge products in the solution, but devices from other manufacturers as well.”