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EF: Focusing on the year 2022, what do you think will be the most significant talking points about the healthcare sector in Colombia?
FV: The healthcare sector became stronger as a result of the pandemic. Colombia has a very vibrant and reliable healthcare sector in Latin America, which orchestrated treatment, prevention, and vaccination of all its population on time to counter COVID. Though faced with some infrastructural challenges, we believe we have an excellent healthcare sector.
EF: Meditech International Health Fair will take place in Colombia; how would you rate the current state of the healthcare infrastructure and level of innovation in Colombia?
FV: Though doing well, we still have room for improvement. We have managed to cover 95.07% of our population and are determined to improve technologically so that the whole population can have access equally.
EF: What lessons have you learned during the pandemic?
FV: We see and understand that there is an urgency to invest in innovation, reaching out more through technology, and swiftly serving the required healthcare for the whole population. Through digitalization, we have been able to serve a wider range of the population using telemedicine and Artificial Intelligence to help our healthcare providers to have more speed, accuracy, and precision.
EF: How would you rate the adoption of AI and digital tools in Colombia?
FV: We were able to serve more people using digital tools regarding telemedicine. We have seen and noted an opportunity to enhance our services by aiding our physicians with Artificial Intelligence, to serve the population.
EF: Could you elaborate on your footprint within Colombia compared to the rest of Latin America?
FV: Through digitalization, we intend to provide precision medicine, and transform our care delivery for the better while increasing patient experience. In this portion, we define precision medicine as a way to treat and diagnose the right patient at the right time and with the right treatment. We are an organization of nearly 300 colleagues steadily growing in double digits, offering quality and precision.
EF: How is your portfolio more specifically adapted to the needs of Colombia, and how are your resources allocated between the public sector and the private sector?
FV: Most of our customers are healthcare providers, so it means hospitals, clinics, and outpatient centres. Most of these healthcare providers in Colombia are private healthcare providers. We have medical devices and technologies for diagnostics, like MRI machines, CT scanners, molecular imaging equipment, and X-ray systems.
We also have advanced therapy systems guided by imaging to make a minimally invasive treatment. And last but not least, InVitro Diagnostics solutions – include reagents and laboratory devices. All these technologies served our population, especially during the height of COVID. We also have Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company focusing on radiology technologies for cancer treatment. We believe we have the capability and confidence to transform, diagnose and increase patient experience.
EF: What's your definition of access?
FV: In Colombia, we have managed to cover 95,07% of the population, and we hope to get the capacity to serve everyone. We're striving to make it a routine through digitalization and aim to capture the remaining 5%.
EF: What is the growth plan, and how do you see the resources being allocated in Colombia?
FV: We need to continue investing technology in the healthcare sector, regardless of how good our healthcare system is, to give proper and quantifiable access to our population. This clears a path to spread our wings to remote areas without discrimination and with unique partnerships with our healthcare providers.
EF: What are your lessons as a leader from managing through the pandemic?
FV: Charity begins at home. One of my discoveries is that we must take care of our people to take care of the rest of the world. We need to be trendsetters in precision innovation and be able to bring new technologies regarding these PCR reagents and antigen tests to all our people regardless of their geographical location.
I learned that working together as a team is different from working in a group; in this line, I observed and embraced social responsibility to employees and create a problem-solving powerhouse driven by integrity and passion for all in equal measure.
EF: What do you think Colombia's portfolio will look like in the future for Siemens Healthineers?
FV: The future of our healthcare is in technology. Therefore, observing and embracing innovations that help solve health puzzles that are precise and reliable is the focus-future.
EF: In your past five years, what achievements are you most proud of, and what do you hope to be celebrating in the next five years?
FV: We have managed to observe growth year by year, and stamping our portfolio in the healthcare sector by providing technological services for Colombian hospitals is an accomplishment. We hope to provide digital solutions and an avenue for the population to have more access to our people and beyond.