Commemorating International Day of Radiology with insights to a leading company in Radiology
by Deborah Seah
Radiology is a specialized area of medicine where medical imaging is used to diagnose and treat diseases. The application of radiology dates back to 8th November 1895, when Wilhelm Roentgen took the first x-ray of a human being. Since the year 2012, radiologist, radiographers, and healthcare professionals have commemorated the 8th of November as the International Day of Radiology. This annual event aims to bring awareness the contributions of radiology in diagnosis, disease treatment, and patient care. The event is also an opportunity to recognize the vital roles radiologists, and radiographers play in the healthcare system to support patient care and disease outcomes.
Bayer, a scientific-world leader in radiology has been committed to the field for more than 100 years, providing products and tools to help enhance medical imaging and increase confidence in diagnosis. Starting out in 1930, Bayer established one of the first injectable renal contrast agents.
To shed light on the progress and the ever-evolving realm of radiology we spoke to Per Edlund, Head of Commercial Operations, Bayer Radiology Asia Pacific, Radiology Asia Pacific.
In April 2016, Per Edlund was appointed Head of Commercial Operations, Bayer Radiology Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. He currently leads a diverse business featuring a portfolio including Contrast Agents, Medical Devices, Services, and Informatics.
Mr Edlund has about 20 years of experience in core competencies such as leadership, global business expansion, multicultural organization management and business unit management, and has around 18 years of Commercial and General Management experience in the diagnostic imaging sector of the Pharmaceutical Industry. Previously, he has held positions such as Head of Region Europe at Bayer Radiology; Head of Marketing, Europe, Bayer Radiology; and Business Unit Head of Scandinavia, Bayer Radiology.
Importance of Radiology in diagnosis and disease treatment
Per Edlund described not having radiology as akin to being lost at sea not knowing where land is located, and the radiologists are the ones setting the direction for where we should go.
"As a company, Bayer is actively helping radiologists in developing a compass or map for them to set the direction to treating a patient. Which is why we are so passionate about it, it's the core element of all successful patient treatments."
Having developed numerous products and innovations throughout the years, Bayer still stands by three parameters at the forefront – accuracy, safety, and speed.
Per Edlund explains, "Here in the Asia Pacific. we have always kept three parameters in the forefront: accuracy, safety, and speed. These are the three core elements that we strive for with all our products in the Asia Pacific, that they should be delivered with accuracy, in a safe manner for patients and healthcare professionals, and speedily, which has consistently been important especially here in the Asia Pacific, given the immense patient pressure and high throughput."
Scientific differentiation and partnering as an edge
With higher pressure of the healthcare system to meet patient needs Bayer sets its edge through scientific differentiation and partnering. As a company, Bayer prides themselves in their commitments to the radiology community as a scientifically strong evidence-based partner. Through constant investments in clinical studies, the company is able to analyse and review the efficacy and safety of their products.
This way they are able to deliver the three core parameters through improvements in speed of diagnosis and reporting, enhancing accuracy of diagnosis and treatment planning though more explicit imaging, and putting patient safety at the forefront by ensuring that the correct diagnostic procedure is put in place for each patient to suit their special needs.
Establishing a collaborative environment between radiologists and the medical community, has allowed Bayer to better understand the evolving needs of radiology.
"We pride ourselves on working very closely with healthcare professionals whom we will serve our products to. Allowing us to comprehend the standards required and modalities to use that is suitable for a particular population."
Adding on to their role as a scientific leader, Bayer invest their efforts to engage in scientific exchange between radiologists and healthcare professionals across various countries. "Bayer regularly organizes scientific symposiums and meetings to bring global thought leaders from various countries together to facilitate in scientific knowledge sharing. One such example is a satellite event organized by Bayer at the Chinese Congress of Radiology; where radiology experts from overseas shared best practices with Chinese radiologists."
To top it off, Bayer also harnesses its expertise from the pharmaceutical arm of the business to provide insights to disease management needs of patients across a wide range of therapeutic areas. One example would be during the development of a liver-specific contrast agent for the diagnosis of liver cancer. From the joint effort and consultation of the pharmaceutical team, Bayer was able to bring together a multi-disciplinary team to make strategic decisions in product development.
The need for innovation
Radiology plays a significant role as a diagnostic tool and treatment planning for better patient outcomes. With rapidly expanding ageing populations in Asia Pacific, which is expected to more than double by 2050, demonstrates the need for radiology to tap into more efficient and innovative methods to deliver optimal patient care.
"In Asia Pacific, there is a huge unmet medical need when it comes to medical imaging and diagnosis. This has to do mainly with the size of the region where half of the world's population lives, and it is expanding rapidly. Coupled with increasingly ageing populations, there will be a higher degree of age-related illnesses such as oncology and cardiovascular disease." says Per Edlund, enlightening us on the importance of innovation and their direct need by the Asia Pacific region.
Bayer is very active in expanding their activities and expertise in artificial intelligence, and one example of how they are doing so currently is through the development of a pattern recognition software to support clinical decision-making for a rare and progressive form of pulmonary hypertension known as Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). It is usually a result of complication of acute pulmonary embolism after venous thromboembolism. Currently, computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) and ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan are the modalities used to detect CTEPH. Given its difficulty to diagnose, the development of the AI software through deep learning methodology will assist radiologists in interpretation of diagnostic data allowing for more accurate diagnosis and treatment decisions. Leveraging on insights into the specific needs of radiology in the Asia Pacific, Bayer has developed a new innovative CT injector, which is not only developed and produced in the Asia Pacific, but is also intelligently designed to meet the three key radiology needs in Asia Pacific of speed, accuracy and patient safety, due to high throughput.
With a "Do Less, Care More" philosophy that Bayer abides by to complement the work of radiologist, Bayer looks forward to the future of radiology and what transformations will bring to improve diagnosis and patient care.
- International Day of Radiology 2019 [Online], Retrieved from: https://www.internationaldayofradiology.com
- Ageing societies, United Nations ESCAP [Online], Retrieved from: https://www.unescap.org/our-work/social-development/ageing
- Gérald Simonneau, Adam Torbicki, Peter Dorfmüller, Nick Kim (2017), The pathophysiology of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, European Respiratory Review, 2017 26: 160112; DOI: 10.1183/16000617.0112-2016
Per Edlund, Head of Commercial Operations, Bayer Radiology Asia Pacific