In the event of a pandemic infection, like COVID-19, existing CT or fixed X-ray facilities in hospitals may not be easily accessible or disinfected.
For this reason, a “mobile” X-ray system is a very important tool for pneumonia diagnosis as it can be used to examine patients in an isolated patient room or ICU. In addition, a mobile system is easier to disinfect after exams than fixed systems.
This rechargeable diagnostic imaging system is a highly effective, powerful tool in emergency medical care because of its ability to examine patients who cannot be easily moved to a radiography room due to infectious concerns or physical difficulties.
Manufacturing Department, Shimane Shimadzu Corporation
Shimane Shimadzu (located in Shimane Prefecture, Japan), which manufactures medical imaging equipment, has been directing its energies towards production increase of the Digital Mobile X-ray System. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an urgent need for this equipment in medical institutions around the world.
A patient with an infectious disease such as COVID-19 risks infecting others if they need to go to a general x-ray examination room. There is a need for equipment that can be moved to an isolation ward or intensive care unit (ICU) so that x-rays can be taken at the patient's bedside.
In response to this rapid increase in demand, Shimane Shimadzu was quick to draw up a plan in early February 2020 to increase production, and this plan has been in place since March. By changing the layout of our factory and allocating workers from other product lines, we work hard to maintain a production output double that of usual. In June, travel restrictions between prefectures were eased, allowing staff from Shimadzu Kyoto factory to come and support us, further bolstering the production line.
Looking back on our struggle, we faced a situation in late March where the supply of equipment components seemed to be stagnant, due to our factory outside Japan that manufactures important parts being closed by the government order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But that problem was resolved with the support of Shimadzu's Kyoto factory and partner companies, and now our production is proceeding smoothly.
In order to deliver that required equipment to medical institutions around the world as quickly as possible, we will continue our efforts to maximize our manufacturing output while taking measures to prevent infection.
Service Engineer, Shimadzu Medical Systems (Oceania) Pty. Ltd, NSW, Australia
* This interview was conducted in mid-June 2020.
Being in the service team my role is to support the healthcare team by completing installation as planned and making sure our equipment is running as per the high standards set by Shimadzu to provide quality care to customers.
Due to the coronavirus, sites with our systems have been extremely busy, and as the systems are being used more than usual, maintenance becomes more and more important. Also maintaining social distancing can sometimes be challenging inside the office and at the hospital.
So, what comes next? Will this become the new normal? When will we find a vaccine? When will we be able to travel domestic and international? There is lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions in my mind and I am sure there is in everyone’s mind as well. I believe this is a time when we need to stay together and look after our wellbeing and stay in touch with our family, friends and colleagues.
In my recent install when I handed over the system the clinicians were very happy with the results that can be achieved using our systems. I feel proud to see that our systems are being used in the frontline COVID-19 clinics and are helping clinicians effectively treat patients. Also, I am lucky to be a part of a motivated team led by a very supportive manager who helps us maintain work life balance during this busy times.
Healthcare workers are true heroes who have risked their own lives to save ours. Their tireless efforts will contribute to a reduction in the number of new cases and the COVID-19 may become less of people’s concern. However, we should never forget the selfless care and dedication of our frontline Healthcare workers who helped us come out stronger on the other side.
Shimadzu Medical Systems USA
* This interview was conducted in early July 2020.
Shimadzu Corporation pioneered the mobile digital x-ray machines that have become vital tools for serving COVID-19 pneumonia diagnosis. When Shimadzu mobile units and x-ray rooms are installed into hospitals and clinics it is my responsibility to ensure they are operating at peak performance and that all imaging staff are proficient in their use.
As an application specialist at Shimadzu Medical Systems USA (SMS), traveling around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic has become very challenging. All airlines have reduced flights and airplane capacity, and some states in the USA have instituted 14 day quarantines when traveling to or from those states. To counter these necessary measures, the SMS Applications team has worked diligently to implement new remote support measures for conducting applications on newly delivered systems, using online platforms such as web conference systems.
It is a monumental challenge for governments, businesses, and individuals to strike a good balance between protecting human lives and protecting our economy so that we may continue to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. As an employee of SMS, I am very proud of our role in serving COVID-19 pneumonia diagnosis.
I have seen firsthand how the Shimadzu family here in the USA rallied together to meet the exploding demand for mobile x-ray equipment, even at the risk of their own health. I am very proud to be a part of that dedicated team.
Shimadzu has a well-defined and noble philosophy to “contribute to society through science and technology”. We must continue and carry out that mission as new global health crises arise in the future.
Shimadzu's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic TOP