Siemens USA CEO on supporting America during COVID-19

Siemens USA CEO on supporting America during COVID-19

“Hospitals. Factories. Data centers. Government facilities. If it’s an essential service or industry in this country, chances are Siemens USA is helping to power and maintain it,” says Milken Institute Chairman Mike Milken to open a recent podcast interview with Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton.


On The Conversations with Mike Milken podcast, Humpton highlighted how Siemens is supporting America during the coronavirus pandemic. “We often talk about Siemens as being a company that was built to serve society,” Humpton said. “And that mission really hasn't changed. … We have real expertise in electrification, automation, and digitalization. And that's all coming into play right now as the nation wrestles with COVID-19.”

Humpton added: “We're going to find ways to accommodate, ways to adapt, but the really critical thing is to connect and care because I think the empathy we show one another right now is going to be the most important medicine we can offer.”

Here are two quick highlights.   


On addressing urgent healthcare needs: “Early on, a team of people came forward and said, we've got expertise in hospital systems. So, when the state of New York needed new hospital capacity to be built, we were there, raising our hand, reaching out to the Army Corps of Engineers who actually supported Governor Cuomo right from the start. In fact, they turned to us and asked us to help. 


Some people have heard about Westchester hospital. Westchester obviously was an early site of outbreak. The community has now turned an arena into a hospital, and with the help of Siemens technology. Think about the power that's needed for a hospital – they’re big power users with all the electrical equipment inside. 


“But it's also maybe less known that you need to manage air flow inside these facilities very carefully. The whole goal is to really protect people who are serving the patients and prevent the spread of infection. So negative air pressure and monitoring systems [was] installed remotely so that technicians wouldn't have to enter patient areas. We [kept] things up and running without having to really put more people in danger.”


On shifts in manufacturing: “We really need, as a nation, to produce ventilators at scale. And you know what? There is no business case for a single manufacturer to do that. But Medtronic, as one of those ventilator producers, actually asked Siemens to help capture what's called the digital twin of their ventilator design. It captured the full design in a digital set of plans, specifications, instructions such that other manufacturers would be able to license that intellectual property and produce, so that now as a nation we could produce at scale. 


Wouldn't it be awesome if we could find ways to actually create what I have been referring to as a strategic digital twin reserve? … We don't know what kind of equipment we're going to need in the future, but what if we could capture the digital twins of medical devices or pharmaceutical offerings and find ways then to secure that and then be able to license it to others in the future when we need to actually produce at scale?” 

It's something we're talking about at Siemens because we really think this is the promise of what everybody has been talking about as ‘Industry 4.0’ – the ability to actually bring in digital tools that enhance our human productivity.”


Read the full transcript by clicking here