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Assessing the oncology IT impact of the Siemens-Varian acquisition

May 19, 2021
Business Affairs Rad Oncology

Product development across a plethora of data
Smaller competitors and startups will also see increased competition develop as Siemens-Varian begins to expand its provision across the oncology IT workflow following the acquisition.

Siemens Healthineers has previously been quoted as intending to “leverage AI-assisted analytics to advance the development and delivery of data-driven precision care and redefine cancer diagnosis, care delivery and post-treatment survivorship.” As demonstrated in Figure 1, there are many points to apply this. Varian has already announced a partnership with Microsoft, designed to develop its own AI-based auto-contouring solution, and further interest in adaptive radiotherapy and oncology analytics can be expected. This does, however, offer vendors like Mirada Medical a reduced pool of potential partners, which will make scaling solutions much harder for small best-of-breed software vendors.

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Furthermore, Siemens has also been working with recent Microsoft acquisition Nuance on workflow and integration for its AI-tools in radiology for seamless integration of results from its advanced visualization into Cerner’s EMR. With a vast pool of resources and data available across its newly formed organization to train algorithms, we expect further announcements in terms of new partnerships and integrations of AI-analysis tools and AI-enabled care pathway tools.

Outside of AI, other key areas of focus for the two vendors will likely include clinical outcome improvements through solutions designed to enable patient-reported outcome measurements and engagement. This opens the door to several other markets as vendors in the space are seeing interest, and revenue, from pharmaceutical vendors engaged in drug development. By providing PROMs, companies can help supplement the therapeutic development process, helping to steer therapy towards even more personalized development.

Entry into the C-suite for Varian Medical
Further benefits in integration will be clear for customers when negotiating multimodality sales. With the acquisition, Varian Medical can now participate in sales discussions at the C-Suite level, which could offer much larger deals with providers. This will both enable the company to outcompete other vendors with bundled pricing, while also opening the door to long-term managed service contracts.

Historically, this characteristic has been present in Siemen’s own focus in recent years on large, managed service contracts for medical imaging. To providers in today’s market, this ability to streamline complex supply chains and rely on larger partners to provide more of its modalities, software and service in long-term contracts will be looking an increasingly attractive way to reduce cost and improve efficiency across larger healthcare systems.

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