What is the mission of a service engineer in the project? That is "Never stop the system for the patient". Yasuhiro Miyazaki supports stable operation after delivery to the facility. Let's look ahead to what he is aiming for.
A mechanism that recovers in the shortest time.
As a service engineer, my top priority was "Never stop the equipment". The reason is that exams and treatments stop when the system stops. This is a crucial problem. So, I made the most effort to incorporate a mechanism that recovers in the shortest time in case of emergency.
"The system keeps running" and "the system never stops" are goals we strive towards. But realistically, it is difficult to ensure zero percent risk of machine physical failure, no matter how precisely we optimize the mechanism. On the other hand, "repairing after breaking" and "taking action before breaking" present vastly different scenarios to minimize damage for the hospital.
We asked ourselves, is it possible to create a mechanism that allows the system to predict failures in advance, grasp the condition of the system in real time, and detect signs of failure? This was our biggest challenge as service engineers.
Immediately after the project started, I gathered the opinions of service engineers from our global network, looked into the details, and prioritized them.
Let's take "parts replacement" as an example. First of all, I set out a "within-30-minute-concept". Even if the consumable parts are replaced, stopping the customer's exam is inevitable. Hence, we placed heavy emphasis on reducing the machine downtime to a maximum of 30minutes.
Most vendors might prioritize the external look of the system to build a positive first impression. However, by incorporating every part inside a beautiful cover, the efficiency for parts replacement and repair might be compromised.
In the development of CUREVISTA Open, we balanced the necessity of both design, and maintenance efficiency, something that has not been a strong push, even from past developments within our company. I think it was achieved because service engineers participated in the development from the very beginning of the project.
Our next goal.
We aim to be one step ahead in the way we communicate with our customers. Equipment status confirmation by log information, quick cause analysis, and trouble prevention by periodic maintenance are examples.
With regards to consumable parts, we are aiming to establish a digital management system for the replacement cycle by collecting and analyzing usage count logs for each user environment. If it becomes commercialized, the operating environment of the daily system can be visualized. The streamlined process will enable us to discuss system operation and environmental improvement with our customers. As a result, new workarounds for system downs may be found.
We would also like to expand the tools by utilizing big data through accumulated logs, which improves the operational efficiency of the radiology department and other clinical departments supporting the management of hospitals in the future. Providing such a high level of service is our next goal.