Artificial intelligence is ushering in a new era of precision healthcare. With its ability to analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns and generate new breakthroughs, AI is already giving healthcare professionals the power to make more accurate diagnoses, develop more personalized treatment plans, and improve overall patient care.
At the forefront of this healthcare/AI revolution is Siemens Healthineers, which is taking a multi-cloud approach to turbocharge its AI efforts with enhanced security and accuracy.
By adopting a multi-cloud strategy, Siemens Healthineers can access and analyze data from many sources, allowing it to develop more precise and effective AI algorithms. Accuracy is paramount when you’re dealing with people’s lives.
“There is a zero-failure tolerance,” said Dr. Gerd Schenk, the company’s Head of R&D. “It's not 99.9.”
A 176-year legacy of innovation
Siemens Healthineers is the global leader when it comes to AI patent applications in medical imaging and has been a pioneer in AI development for more than 20 years. It owns more than 1100 patent families related to machine learning, of which more than 550 are rooted in deep learning.
Its AI portfolio draws upon a data lake of billion clinical images, findings and data, all in service of streamlining and unifying complex diagnostic processes for lung, prostate and breast cancer and more, helping doctors and other healthcare professionals make more precise and prompt decisions. For example, the AI-Rad Companion, a suite of AI-based workflow solutions, relieves radiologists of monotonous tasks, allowing them to concentrate on the most urgent cases and improve patient outcomes.
Spinal imaging is another promising application of AI-Rad Companion Chest CT, which leverages AI algorithms to develop advanced labeling techniques and assessments such as a density measurement of each vertebra. Through deep learning, these algorithms can detect and label different regions of the spine, even in cases of scoliosis, in which the spine takes on an S shape. This technology enhances accuracy and reduces the workload on radiologists.
Multi-cloud overcomes privacy and security obstacles
While promising, AI in healthcare poses its own set of challenges, including the need to ensure the accuracy and reliability of its algorithms. Data privacy and security also rank among Siemens Healthineers’ top priorities, given the involvement of sensitive patient information.
Multi-cloud enables Siemens Healthineers to tap into diverse data pools, a critical factor in innovating AI technologies that lead to advancements in healthcare. By extracting and utilizing data at its source, without the need for extensive data movement, the company can address privacy concerns while also optimizing the way it uses resources.
Rather than moving all data to the cloud, it's more practical and efficient to bring computation and AI capabilities to where the data resides. That presents a multi-cloud challenge that requires a multi-cloud solution.
"I believe in the power of a multi-cloud approach because there is no one-size-fits-all solution," Schenk said. Koopmann agrees: "That's where multi-cloud and similar technologies come into play. They enable us to gain access to data and leverage it to develop new AI technologies."
Catering to all market segments with greater access to AI
By integrating AI into medical imaging and adopting a multi-cloud approach, Siemens Healthineers expects to pioneer breakthroughs that improve patient care and outcomes. The company credits its long-standing partnership with VMware for many of its achievements. By combining its healthcare expertise with VMware's technological innovation, Siemens Healthineers can address the fragmented market, catering to the needs of both large and small healthcare institutions with enterprise and miniaturized solutions.
For instance, Siemens Healthineers has embraced the VMware software stack to manage and deploy workloads effectively across on-premises data centers and edge computing infrastructures. The company is also relying on Tanzu TKG 2.3 and vSphere plus vSAN to run its enterprise imaging and reporting solution Syngo Carbon in both large and small hospital data centers. This integration enhances resource utilization, streamlines operations, ensures advanced security, improves data management, and seamlessly integrates with AI applications.
Beyond customer and vendor: Forging a trusted partnership
Koopmann describes the bond between Siemens Healthineers and VMware as a genuine partnership in the healthcare/AI revolution, one that transcends the conventional vendor-client dynamic. It’s an alliance based on trust, continuous learning and collaboration.
"My hope is that with these two partners coming together – Siemens Healthineers being the domain expert in the healthcare environment and VMware being the technology expert – we can really outgrow what we could do on our own,” he said. “A true partnership, not just a vendor plus a vendor.”