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Our Way Forward

By Rice Powell, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Fresenius Medical Care

When a pandemic hits, health care systems are our first line of defense. As the leading provider of kidney care products and services in the world, we at Fresenius Medical Care need to deliver on many fronts at once:

  1. We must immediately do everything we can to protect our patients, who need continuous life-sustaining dialysis and are among the most at-risk populations
  2. We must protect our staff, who, by being there for our patients, put themselves at increased risk
  3. And we must secure supply for all patients that need our products, be that in our own centers or anywhere else

Planning for contingencies has always been our responsibility – we even have disaster response teams that can maintain patient care after natural catastrophes. Still, this is a crisis of unprecedented scale, affecting people all over the world, and demanding emergency measures across the board, from our clinics to our back offices, and from our production plants to the very end of our supply chains. For a more detailed look at what we did and what we’ve learned from it, I’d be glad if you read my piece for the Washington Post.

I’m excited to see the adoption of telehealth shifted into hyper-drive

This Will be a New Dawn for Interconnected Intelligence

More telehealth will produce more data, which can be overwhelming at first. But we at Fresenius Medical Care have always worked in a particularly data-heavy discipline – so we know that hidden in that data there is a huge potential to improve the standard of care. In fact, our whole company went through a paradigm shift a few years ago: We realized that our devices are not just devices – they are actually platforms that allow us to gain insight. 

To make sense of all the information, we use artificial intelligence and machine learning that analyzes large volumes of data independently. And when we apply predictive modeling, we can even forecast the future. Comparing our patients’ current values with our historical data tells us what is likely to happen next – and how we can intervene for the best possible outcome. This way, we are already seeing a shift from reactive to preventive health care – from seeing patients only after they get sick to proactively keeping them healthy. And if you do get sick, ever more personalized treatments will soften the blow. Future dialysis devices will use multiple biosensors (like our on-body sensor BioIntelliSense) to detect even the slightest chemical and physical signals and achieve an automatic and immediate change of dialysis parameters. 

Our Apps for Interconnected Intelligence

“MY COMPANION” patient app

The app gives patients at Fresenius Medical Care clinics an overview of their treatment as well as the drugs prescribed to them and their lab results.

“THEHUB” connected health platform

The platform allows patients, care teams and physicians to better collaborate and monitor patient treatments. This supports our efforts to accelerate the introduction of home treatments while ensuring that our patients remain in close contact with their care teams.

“DOCTOR APP” for nephrologists

The app integrates all of the important parameters for dialysis treatment, allowing our physicians to adjust treatment individually and giving them more time for their patients.

Better Information Will Empower People

Related content

1 “From 2005 to 2017, only one out of every 150 doctor visits and one in every 5,000-10,000 specialist visits in the U.S. were conducted via telemedicine.” (Source: techcrunch.com/2020/04/04/why-telehealth-cant-significantly-flatten-the-coronavirus-curve-yet/)