Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Comprehensive Environmental Protection in Medical Technology

01.10.2007
Latest environmental concepts from Siemens for medical technology devices – from production, to use, to refurbishment and disposal

Long before the terms “climate change” and “energy efficiency” were on everyone’s lips, Siemens was working hard to systematically improve the impact of its products and systems on people and the environment. This is especially true at Siemens Medical Solutions (Med).

As a result, new computed tomography systems consume 30 percent less energy, contain 80 percent less lead, and generate up to 58 percent less radiation than previous systems. And refurbished medical technology devices receive the “Proven Excellence” quality seal for their environmental compatibility. Comprehensive quality standards apply to all phases of medical technology systems, from production, to use, to refurbishment and disposal. In accordance with the comprehensive approach of the European Commission regarding integrated product policies, Siemens takes all relevant environmental aspects into account across the entire product lifecycle.

Refurbishing used systems is a critical component of the corporate philosophy: extending the lifecycle of a product saves resources. For example, used computed tomography, magnetic resonance tomography, ultrasound, radiation therapy, and radiography systems are accepted back, and then refurbished by a separate product group called Refurbished Systems (RS). Refurbishment follows a comprehensive, fivestage quality process (device selection, qualified disassembly, refurbishment process, installation, warranty against defects) with the same high standards as for new devices.

The systems then leave the factory with the “Proven Excellence” quality seal and are sold throughout the world. Economical and efficient, top class refurbished systems tailored to the customer complement the innovative product portfolio of Siemens Medical Solutions. RS thereby provides a significant contribution to the environmental initiative of Siemens AG. In addition, this comprehensive approach prevents 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The savings correspond to the energy needs of 3000 three-person households per year.

Comprehensive Environmental Protection

An lifecycle assessment has shown that the environmental impact of medical devices is significantly higher in the usage phase than the manufacturing phase. While a magnetic resonance tomography system (MRT) such as the Magnetom Avanto is in use by the customer, it consumes the majority of its lifecycle’s energy: 88 percent. Its manufacture and recycling account for the remaining twelve percent. The same is true for most other long-lasting electrical and electronic products. For this reason, Siemens relies on comprehensive environmental protection. This means the devices are designed to have as little negative environmental impact as possible – across the entire lifecycle. This includes all phases, from material selection and manufacturing, to usage, to recycling.

Award Winning: the Somatom Definition Computed Tomography System

During a cardiac examination, the Somatom Definition computed tomography system (CT) generates up to 58 percent less radiation, depending on the patient’s pulse rate, with significantly improved image quality. As a result, the examination is much safer for the patient. To generate radiation, the system requires power. The reduction is radiation dose not only protects the patient, it saves energy and helps in protecting the environment. In a defined standard examination, the CT system requires 30 percent less energy than its predecessor. Somatom Definition only contains 19 kilograms of lead, compared to 110 as in the past – a drop of more than 80 percent.

The remaining lead is required to provide radiation shielding. Through these improvements, the developers were able to reduce the environmental impact of production and establish the prerequisites for reduced energy requirements in the usage phase. The highperformance X-ray tubes in the CT system are returned, refurbished in a complicated, quality assured process, and reused as reconditioned parts. For its contribution to environmental protection with the Somatom Definition, in 2006 Med was awarded the international Siemens Environmental Prize.

Product Environmental Declarations

To inform its customers of the environmental characteristics of medical devices, Siemens has created product environmental declarations. In the future for example, prior to purchase customers will be able to evaluate the follow-up costs produced when operating Siemens medical devices. Med worked together with representatives of hospitals and leading medical technology manufacturers to determine what information the product environmental declarations had to contain. In the future, whenever a new Med product comes to market, this brochure will be published at the same time. It will provide information on materials, energy consumption, radiation intensity, spare parts consumption, and other aspects relevant for decision making. Product environmental declarations are already available for the Magnetom Avanto and Espree MRT systems, as well as the Somatom Definition CT system.

EMAS
The environmental management system of the European Union, called EMAS (Eco- Management and Audit Scheme), is the system with the world’s strictest requirements. It has been implemented voluntarily at all Siemens locations in Germany since 1996: every product and work step is audited periodically. Independent, nationally certified EMAS auditors check every year whether the environmental protection guidelines are being maintained at the production facilities. In addition, the auditors evaluate whether actual improvements have been achieved in critical environmental aspects. The environmental auditors also check the plausibility of the information in the environmental statement that is published annually. The information on environmentally-relevant activities, procedures, energy and material consumption, hazardous emissions, influence on the environmental behavior of suppliers, and actions to improve the environment thereby enjoy a special level of trust. Med is following the objective of minimizing its environmental impact internationally. The internal EH&S policy (Environmental, Health, and Safety) and the EH&S management system apply worldwide to all locations and products.

Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. Recent acquisitions in the area of in-vitro diagnostics – such as Diagnostic Products Corporation and Bayer Diagnostics – mark a significant milestone for Siemens as it becomes the first full service diagnostics company. Employing more than 41,000 people worldwide and operating in over 130 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 8.23 billion EUR, orders of 9.33 billion EUR and group profit of 1.06 billion EUR for fiscal 2006 (Sept. 30), according to U.S. GAAP.

Bianca Braun | Siemens Medical Solutions
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/medical
http://www.siemens.com/med-pictures/environment

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract
28.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Artificial intelligence may help diagnose tuberculosis in remote areas
25.04.2017 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>