Rank: #7 (Last year: #4)
Prior Fiscal: $15.9 Billion
Percentage Change: -2%
No. of Employees: 50,000
Global Headquarters: Erlangen, Germany
Michael Sen, Chairman
Dr. Bernd Montag, CEO
Dr. Jochen Schmitz, CFO
Michael Reitermann, Member of the Managing Board and President—Diagnostics Segment
For years, there has been speculation regarding a number of conglomerates that would see the company spin out its medical device business. Rumors have circulated around Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Alcon (which was finally launched by parent Novartis in April), among others. In 2018, Siemens took the first steps toward creating a new, independent entity comprised of its Healthineers unit.
On March 16, 2018, shares of Siemens Healthineers (representing a 15 percent stake in the company) debuted on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The shares were issued at a price of 28 euros (which immediately rose 7 percent during trading that same day)—a “discounted price” cited by some market participants as a way for Siemens to promote interest. The asking price was down from the figure initial estimates had it at when the IPO announcement was made in November of the year prior. At that time, speculation put the company’s value at 40 billion euros. Ultimately, however, Healthineers’ equity was valued at 28 billion euros for the IPO debut—still the world’s largest in the healthcare sector to date, according to Siemens Chairman Michael Sen.
“The public listing is the next logical step and the foundation for expanding our strong position as a leading global supplier of healthcare technology,” Sen, who also serves as chairman of the Siemens Healthineers supervisory board, said in a statement.
The sale brought $4.2 billion euros to the coffers of the former parent firm Siemens, which still retained an 85 percent stake. The move, according to management, will enable the standalone healthcare entity to raise its own funds for takeovers and investments.
Undoubtedly, the firm is still evaluating potential prospects for acquisition as it hasn’t made any big splashes in that area since the IPO debut. Prior to that, however, the Healthineers segment of Siemens did conduct some M&A activity. Most notably, at the close of 2017, the unit announced it would be integrating Fast Track Diagnostics (FTD) into the fold. The Luxembourg-based company was a global supplier of diagnostics tests that could distinguish between viral, bacterial, or other infections in one test. FTD’s tests are real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits, allowing for both singleplex and syndromic testing. The acquisition increases the menu of the Siemens Healthineers’ VERSANT kPCR Molecular System by over 80 assays and syndromic panels.
“Combining FTD’s wide range of assays with the Siemens Healthineers portfolio means great things for all of our customers globally,” explained Bill Carman, CEO of Fast Track Diagnostics. “In merging our efforts, we’re enabling healthcare providers to meet their current challenges and deliver better outcomes for patients.”
While FTD’s 80 employees and sites in Luxembourg, Malta, and India were integrated into the firm, Healthineers retained the company’s name as the brand for the products available worldwide.
Just prior to the FTD announcement, Siemens Healthineers confirmed the closing of an earlier transaction, wrapped up at the end of October 2017. While the financial details were not disclosed, the move resulted in Epocal Inc. being fully incorporated into its new owner.
Epocal’s product line of blood gas offerings were tied to Healthineers’ POC Ecosystem. The resulting solution enables customized testing offerings based on individual facility needs—whether handheld testing, benchtop solutions, or central lab applications—to help improve process efficiency.
Healthineers is hoping the addition of these organizations will help bolster a product catalog that resulted in lower overall sales revenue in the firm’s 2018 fiscal year, which experienced a decrease in review by almost 250 million euros when compared to the prior period. That translated to 13.43 billion euros in the most recent annual report versus the previous 13.68 billion euros. On a comparable basis, however, the company noted an increase of 4 percent.
Siemens Healthineers is comprised of three segments—Imaging, Diagnostics, and Advanced Therapies. At 8.15 billion euros in 2018 fiscal revenue, the Imaging business led the company’s sales, but it was still relatively flat compared to the prior fiscal. According to the company, the magnetic resonance unit demonstrated particularly strong growth, though.
Contributing an amount less than half of the Imaging sales, Diagnostics finished the fiscal period at 3.96 billion euros, a 5 percent decrease versus 2017’s 4.16 billion euros. In its annual report, the company attributes this decrease to negative currency translation effects.
Rounding out the financial story for the company’s business segments, Advanced Therapies posted 1.48 billion euros to the annual total. The segment experienced a 2 percent decrease over prior fiscal, which was just over 1.5 billion euros, but 4 percent comparable growth. The company points to the growing trend toward minimally invasive procedures, which employ many of the firm’s technologies, for the comparable rise.
On the global stage, the company’s sales are grouped into three regions. Its primary market—the Americas—saw a 5 percent decrease overall, dropping from 2017’s 5.57 billion euros to 2018’s 5.29 billion euros.
The United States, which is the area’s largest revenue contributor, declined 4 percent year-over-year to finish at 4.46 billion euros. Next, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, and Africa added 4.41 billion euros, a 2 percent rise over 2017’s 4.34 billion euros. Conversely, while the total was led by Germany’s 856 million euros, that sales total actually represented a decrease of 3 percent. Third was the Asia/Australia region, posting 3.73 billion euros, a slight 1 percent decrease over the previous fiscal year. China, on the other hand, which accounted for the highest revenue in the area, saw sales increase 4 percent to 1.68 billion euros.
In an effort to spur future growth opportunities, the 2018 fiscal period saw several notable product announcements that should help turn around the sluggish “first-year” financials experienced by the newly launched entity.
The company brought its Atellica Solution immunoassay and clinical chemistry analyzers for in-vitro diagnostic testing to market. According to a company statement, early adopters reported their respective workflow and performance studies, each of which validate the solution’s ambitious commitments to transform operational efficiency and enhance clinical performance. Their results exceeded key performance indicators that affect workflow—including turnaround time, throughput, operator hands-on time with system maintenance, and quality control, as well as assay performance.
The firm also launched a new ultrasound solution—the Acuson Sequoia—which addresses the challenges of imaging different sized patients without compromising clarity. Equipped with a Deep Abdominal Transducer, a high-powered architecture, and updates to elastography and contrast-enhanced ultrasound, the Acuson Sequoia produces penetration up to 40 cm.
Further additions to the Siemens Healthineers line of imaging solutions included four new CT systems. The SOMATOM go.All and SOMATOM go.Top expanded the range of clinical applications for the firm’s patient-centric mobile workflow operated via tablet and remote. The 64-slice All can cover scan ranges of up to 100 mm in one second, while the 128-slice Top performs whole-body scans of up to 200 cm with a scan speed of up to 175 mm per second. The addition of these solutions enable users to now employ the SOMATOM go. platform for applications in emergency medicine, interventional radiology, and cardiology, which the company notes as a major growth area for healthcare providers.
The other two introductions were the SOMATOM Edge Plus—a single-source system—and the SOMATOM Force—a new version of the dual-source field system. Both allow users to cover all CT applications, regardless of patient or clinical issue. The precision diagnostic solutions employ integrated FAST (Fully Assisting Scanner Technologies) applications, such as the FAST Integrated Workflow with the new FAST 3D Camera for automatic patient positioning.
Also of note was the company’s announcement of its new tests for diagnosing heart attacks faster. The High-Sensitivity Troponin I assays (TnIH) for the Atellica IM and ADVIA Centaur XP/XPT in-vitro diagnostic analyzers offer the ability to detect lower levels of troponin at significantly improved precision at the 99th percentile, and detect smaller changes in a patient’s troponin level as repeat testing occurs.
In addition to bringing new products to market, Siemens Healthineers found innovative ways to repackage the technologies it already offered by establishing strategic partnerships with medical device firms that provided complementary solutions. In one such arrangement, NuVasive teamed with Siemens Healthineers to form a Spine Precision Partnership. The goal of this initiative is to create solutions that improve operating room workflow efficiency and provide increased precision in the delivery of minimally disruptive spine surgery technologies. The first step involved the integration of NuVasive’s Pulse surgical automation platform with Siemens Healthineers’ Cios Spin mobile 3D imaging for intra-operative quality assurance.
“We at Siemens Healthineers are excited to work with NuVasive to develop intra-operative 3D-imaging and navigation tools for our advanced imaging systems that empower spine surgeons and neurosurgeons to be more precise, faster, and cost efficient in the operating room. Increased workflow efficiency, better image quality, as well as predictable and reproducible results, will transform care delivery and set a new standard in spine surgery,” said Peter Seitz, head of Surgery at Healthineers.
Another cooperative effort paired the company with Hillrom to provide comprehensive diabetes care for primary care facilities. The integrated offering incorporates Siemens Healthineers’ DCA Vantage Analyzer for HbA1c testing and the CLINITEK Status+ Urine Chemistry Analyzer for kidney checks, with Hillrom’s Welch Allyn RetinaVue Network and imaging technology for teleretinal exams. The patient-centered solution from Siemens Healthineers and Hillrom offers physicians more control over patient care by accomplishing proactive testing and treatment during a single visit.
Other medical device manufacturing firms weren’t the only participants in partnerships with Siemens Healthineers, however, during the 2018 fiscal year. The company teamed directly with healthcare providers in South Carolina and Florida to enhance the quality and delivery of care.
At the start of the 2018 calendar year, the organization announced it was embarking on a multi-phase collaboration with Florida Hospital, part of Adventist Health System. The agreement involved the two entities seeking to transform the delivery of healthcare through the development of outcomes-based projects. Specifically, Healthineers would provide its imaging technology innovation and industry expertise to be combined with the healthcare provider’s integrated delivery network along with its ongoing investment in improving the affordability, outcomes, and experience for healthcare customers. According to a company statement, Phase I of the collaboration involved the incorporation of Healthineers’ cardiac computed tomography angiography into the hospital’s clinical protocol with the goal to optimally assess and manage intermediate-risk patients in Celebration Health’s emergency department who present with acute chest pain.
Of the effort, David Pacitti, president of Siemens Healthineers North America, said “We look forward to conducting projects that closely examine the continuum of care and the development of clinical pathways that test and advance the strengths of both parties.”
To that end, in August, the firm announced another collaboration. In this case, the partnership was to capitalize on the coupling of The Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) clinical care, research, and education expertise with Siemens Healthineers’ engineering innovations and workflow-improvement capabilities. Specifically, according to the company’s release, the focus for this venture would be on driving performance excellence at MUSC and generating significant clinical and value-driven innovations in focused target areas including pediatrics, cardiovascular care, radiology, and neurosciences. For example, MUSC and Siemens team members planned to drastically reduce the time it takes for severe stroke patients to receive treatment. Another example involved the incorporation of artificial intelligence—referred to as “digital twin technology”—to enable planning teams to quickly determine the impact of changes that would be costly, if not impossible, to test in the real world, and help them forecast how well possible workflow solutions or health innovations may actually work.