The University of Missouri System and University of Missouri Health Care have entered into a 10-year agreement with Siemens Healthineers, the medical technology subsidiary of German conglomerate Siemens AG.
The agreement is valued at $133 million, and it calls for Siemens Healthineers to deliver laboratory and imaging technology, as well as enterprise services and digital solutions, to the UM System.
They also announced a medical research alliance. Called the Alliance for Precision Health, it’s valued at up to $40 million.
As part of the technology agreement, Siemens Healthineers will provide medical imaging equipment and supporting infrastructure to the UM System’s NextGen Precision Health Institute, a $220 million facility for research and interdisciplinary collaboration that’s scheduled to open in 2021. For instance, the Institute will be one of the first facilities in the Midwest to install a new scanner that has the resolution to spot objects smaller than 0.1 millimeters wide.
“If you needed an MRI of your knee, and on a 1.5 Tesla scanner, it would take 40 minutes,” said Talissa Altes, chair of radiology at the MU School of Medicine. “On the 7 Tesla scanner, it might take 15 minutes.”
In addition, the UM System will be able to use software that allows radiology technicians to connect remotely to scanners in order to assist personnel at different locations.
“The reason why this is so important is that the small outlying hospitals don’t have technologists in house all night long,” Altes said. “They can call them in, but if you get injured and you need a scan right now to determine what needs to happen to you, currently they would airlift you here. Now, you could just have your scan done there.”
Siemens Healthineers will also provide mentorship for MU students. David Pacitti, president and head of the Americas for Siemens Healthineers, said biomedical engineering would be one area of focus.
“We’ve identified that there is a need for biomedical engineers to service equipment, and to help fix things at the hospital. A lot of times there’s just not enough people,” Pacitti said. “What we want to do in working together with the University of Missouri is to help to develop a program to develop more biomedical engineers for the workforce we are looking for.”
The agreement is one of the five largest alliance deals for the company, Pacitti said.