FINANCE & LEGAL Funding For The Future Chris Wilkinson, Head of Sales for Healthcare for Siemens Financial Services in the UK,

examines how specialist technology finance can support the upgrade of medical technology and laboratory services.

Developments in digital technology are having a profound effect on the delivery of modern healthcare, helping to provide more efficient and accurate treatment for patients.

Advances in nuclear medicine imaging, for example, have led to improvements in the detection and identification of age-related conditions such as cancer, dementia, heart disease and other diseases which enable treatment at a stage when it is oſten simpler, more effective, less costly and less invasive.

Similarly, by using the latest technology, clinical laboratories can run several tests simultaneously, generate results faster and increase sample throughput while reducing the need for manual work, the risk of errors, client turnaround times and costs. Innovative automation systems for processing lines also mean information and workflows can be integrated and shared across various laboratory facilities, which can help to cope with peak volumes at busy times.

These developments continue apace. Cutting-edge technologies are currently being developed to positively impact the way healthcare organisations conduct research and diagnose illness. Smart soſtware developments will allow rapid set-up change so that research imaging happens at night, while therapeutic diagnostics operate through the same unit during daytime patient hours.

The financial and healthcare benefits that result from early, accurate diagnosis have been widely recognised as far outweighing the cost of treating a lifetime of ill health. Despite this, our ageing population and rising rates of chronic illnesses are putting increased demand on healthcare services at a time when healthcare budgets continue to be squeezed. Keeping pace with technological advancements requires considerable capital expenditure. In times of budget cuts and austerity,

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acquiring the latest laboratory and healthcare technology may seem out of reach for many healthcare providers.

“The financial and healthcare benefits that

result from early, accurate diagnosis have been widely

recognised as far outweighing the cost of treating a lifetime of ill health.”

As a result, specialist technology finance solutions, such as transition finance, technology upgrade and pay-for-outcomes options, are gaining increasing acceptance as a means of enabling cost-effective investments in new technologies. Such financing solutions spread the cost of the technology over an agreed financing period, with finance payments arranged to align with the expected benefits of the use of the technology over time, such as improved operational efficiency.

Financing arrangements remove the need for a large initial outlay, and can help improve cash flow and working capital. Additionally, financing arrangements have the potential to incorporate other costs such as installation, as well as introduce the flexibility of future affordable technology upgrades, in line with technological developments. Medical laboratories can then deploy valuable funds in other areas to improve service quality while keeping their lines of credit intact.

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 that up-to-date technology can bring to daily operations and can expertly evaluate any associated risks. They are therefore 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 oſten lack a thorough understanding of the healthcare and medical laboratory sector as well as technical expertise.

As well as supporting other healthcare technology providers, Siemens Financial Services (SFS) finances equipment from Siemens Healthineers. Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers worldwide to achieve better outcomes at lower costs by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving patient experience and digitalising healthcare. Siemens Healthineers is constantly developing its portfolio of products and services in its core areas of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and in laboratory diagnostics and molecular medicine. Siemens Healthineers is also actively developing its digital health services and enterprise services. Through SFS’ relationship with Siemens Healthineers, SFS has developed an enhanced knowledge of the most cutting-edge technologies and their practical application.

By choosing to work with a specialist provider of technology finance for the installation or upgrade of their diagnostic imaging and clinical laboratory technology, healthcare organisations can take important steps to providing appropriate healthcare against the background of increasing demand and the continuous evolution of progressive medical technology solutions. This is likely to bring longstanding benefits to the healthcare and life science sectors as a whole.

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