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How can laboratories access automation technologies to respond to increased demand?

publication date: Sep 15, 2021
 | 
author/source: Siemens Financial Services

how-can-laboratories-access-automation-technologies

Scaling Testing with Automation and Smart Finance

how-can-laboratories-access-automation-technologiesTesting is fundamental to identify and prevent the spread of the coronavirus but how can laboratories access automation technologies to respond to increased demand? Penny Pinnock, Sales Manager – Healthcare & Public Sector for Siemens Financial Services, explores how smart finance can help labs to leverage automation and enhance testing capacity.

As the impact of the coronavirus epidemic continues to grow, laboratories play a key role in the practice of testing which can help prevent the spread of the virus. Since the start of the outbreak, the NHS has rapidly expanded testing capacity with the NHS Test and Trace network now processing around 2 million tests per week.[1] As well as partnering with other laboratories and establishing the new network of testing sites, this swift acceleration of testing relies on automation technologies.

New equipment and technology are essential components to scaling response to the virus. Automated processes and making use of robot technologies can limit human exposure while ensuring more efficient, more effective testing. In the case of the NHS network, the government has mobilised new liquid handling robots which can dispense and sample liquids with greater rapidity and accuracy than manual application.[2] But this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to laboratory solutions. Using automation, diagnostic laboratories can make workflow more efficient and flexible while improving turnaround times, reducing errors, and cutting costs.

However, while the demand is urgent, automating an entire diagnostic laboratory is complex and requires significant investment. Specialist technology finance solutions such as transition finance,[3] technology upgrade[4] and pay-for-outcomes options are now coming to the fore, which allow laboratories to invest in new technology without having to commit large sums of capital. Arrangements such as lease agreements which deliver fixed monthly payments over the financing period, or Managed Service Contract arrangements that guarantee an agreed level of equipment uptime, are increasingly popular. Such financing solutions spread the cost of the technology over an agreed period, with payments arranged to align with the expected benefits of the use of the technology over time, such as improved operational efficiency. By removing the need for a large initial outlay, finance arrangements like these can help improve cash flow and working capital. Additionally, they have the potential to incorporate other costs such as installation, as well as introducing the flexibility of future affordable technology upgrades, in line with technology developments.

Such tailored financing packages tend to be offered by specialist healthcare financiers that have an in-depth understanding of medical technology and its applications. They understand the profound impact up-to-date equipment, technology and facilities can bring to the daily operation and can expertly evaluate any associated risks. They are therefore more inclined and more able to create customised financing packages that fit the specific requirements of each individual organisation – for instance, by flexing the financing period to suit the customer’s cash flow needs. This contrasts with the standard financing terms usually available from generalist financiers who often lack technical expertise or a thorough understanding of the healthcare sector.

Siemens Financial Services works with Siemens Healthineers, as well as other technology vendors, to provide cost effective financing solutions for a wide variety of medical technology and equipment, enabling healthcare organisations to access the solutions they need without having to commit precious capital budgets.

As the pandemic continues, laboratories are looking to urgently scale operations with minimal disruptions. Automated technologies are essential to keeping pace with testing demand but represent a significant investment for labs. Smart finance solutions from specialist financiers can help labs to overcome this challenge and invest in the right technology to meet ambitious testing goals.


[1] Gov UK, NHS Test and Trace: how we test your samples (22 Sep 20)
[2] Gov UK, NHS Test and Trace: how we test your samples (22 Sep 20)
[3] Financing that delay paying for a new system or solution until it has been set up, trialled and tested, thus avoiding paying for both original and replacement technology at the same time.
[4] Arrangements that provide the option to upgrade or add to the technology, either during, or at the end of, the financing period, offering protection against technology obsolescence.

 

Siemens Financial Services works with Siemens Healthineers, as well as other technology vendors, to provide cost effective financing solutions for a wide variety of medical technology and equipment, enabling healthcare organisations to access the solutions they need without having to commit precious capital budgets.

As the pandemic continues, laboratories are looking to urgently scale operations with minimal disruptions. Automated technologies are essential to keeping pace with testing demand but represent a significant investment for labs. Smart finance solutions from specialist financiers can help labs to overcome this challenge and invest in the right technology to meet ambitious testing goals.

 

 

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