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Interview with Peter Harrison, Managing Director of Siemens Healthineers UK

Interview with Peter Harrison, Managing Director of Siemens Healthineers UK

Posted on: 07-09-2017

What are the challenges of heading one of the biggest imaging companies in the UK?

It’s actually a privilege to lead a really great team of people and a company with values and principles that we believe in.  Of course there are challenges, but they are not unique to Siemens.  We operate within a very cost sensitive market where long term planning can often be compromised by satisfying near term demands.  That can be frustrating at times, but we try assist with solutions that address both the short term and longer term challenges, offering sustainable solutions that improve health outcomes.

What’s special about the Siemens ARTIS pheno and how can it help orthopaedic surgeons?

How long have I got?  It’s a remarkable piece of equipment.  It utilises an 8 axis robotic arm which works with a dedicated surgical table for complex positioning, further enhanced by the unique variable isocentre.  In Japan clinicians have reduced complex Scoliosis cases from 8 hours to 4 hours.  The solution improves workflow with rapid intraprocedural 3D imaging to verify optimal screw positioning without moving the patient.  Add reduced dose and the Pheno’s Class 1a hygiene classification and you have a system which delivers tremendous benefits to the patient.

 How do you think computer aided diagnosis will impact the world of radiology?
There’s a lot of talk about Computer Aided Diagnosis or CAD and indeed it offers benefits to assist Radiologists with suggested areas of interest which support the Radiologist reporting. I think that there are also very exciting future benefits associated with the use of “big data”.  Around the world we are collectively building huge datasets of genetic, imaging and diagnostic data which can proffer powerful data mining opportunities.  This can identify patterns which may assist with both disease diagnosis and personalised screening based on an individual’s likely pre-disposition to developing disease.

 What advice would you give to a young person starting out in this field?

It’s a very different world for today’s youngsters and I’m aware that in many cases  millennials have different expectations than when I qualified.  The world is a very competitive environment and the advent of globalisation typically means that competition spans geographic boundaries, but so too does opportunity.  My advice would be to remember within that competitive environment, enthusiasm and hard work are usually prerequisites to progress, and I would also advocate seizing opportunities as they arise.

 If you were a doctor which speciality would you choose and why?
That’s a really tough question for me. Partly because I could have imagined myself as a clinician – my father was a Veterinary Surgeon and my mother was a Theatre Sister.  By way of my own education and initial career I followed the path of my grand-father who was an Electrical Engineer.  I enjoy variety within a job role so perhaps an A&E clinician?  That said, I am so impressed with what can be achieved using minimally invasive techniques, perhaps I might have been tempted to pursue a specialism facilitated by those developments.

 What might we be surprised to know about you?

Perhaps that I’m a Dub fan!?  For those that aren’t familiar with the term I’m talking about Volkswagens.  In particular, the older campervan variety.  I’m the proud owner of a 1976 T2 van which I enjoy maintaining and using for weekends away and day trips.  We’ve even taken it to France and made it back without incident or breakdown.

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