Medical device manufacturers and healthcare organisations are short of skilled workers due to COVID-19 pandemic and through Augmented Reality training and knowledge transfer can be done in a faster and smarter way. Kalyan Sridhar, SVP and Country Manager – India, PTC in interaction with Sanjiv Das reveals more about how technologies can impact the medical fraternity
How technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are impacting the medical fraternity and the medical manufacturers especially during the COVID-19 pandemic?
AR has all the potential to make a huge transition in the industry and help every person related to the health sector. It can help patients’ education about their critical condition, it can help the surgeons in OR, from locating a tumour to using minimally invasive methods while operating a critical surgery. It can also help pharma companies to understand how a particular drug can work on a human body. We have a huge problem to retain a skilled workforce in the industry, Augmented Reality (AR) technology can help this challenge to gain efficiency and reduce the risk. It also improves the quality quotient.
In this kind of COVID situation, medical device manufacturers and many healthcare organisations are short of skilled workers, through AR, the training and knowledge transfer can be done in a faster and smarter way. AR instructions can easily be published and viewed on a wide range of devices across the enterprise.
And given the travel restrictions, in this challenging situation, PTC is providing technical support to manufacturing and service employees. They aim to help address the challenge, PTC is making Vuforia Chalk augmented reality (AR) remote support and collaboration
technology freely available to its customers and partners to use through August 31. The company will consider further extensions if COVID situation continues.
How will PTC software add value to the ventilator manufacturers?
PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture AR technology and Microsoft’s HoloLens to capture the crucial assembly steps and processes involved in building Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems (RMVS). This will be transferred and edited in PTC’s Vuforia Editor technology, which runs on Microsoft Azure, and relayed, through wearable equipment, to the factories of the consortium partners that traditionally do not make ventilators. By doing so, the consortium will reduce lead times and avoid potential transmission of COVID-19 by placing ‘virtual’ Smiths and Penlon experts on to the shop floor.
What is the latest B2B health-tech based software that your company provides?
At present, Vuforia Expert Capture by PTC is a software which is being used by healthcare manufacturers to do the knowledge transfer from medical equipment sector to non-medical equipment sector which has the machinery but lacks a skilled workforce. It is the easiest way to create powerfully step-by-step AR instructions to help frontline workers get their jobs done quickly and accurately.
What is the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Indian Medical equipment manufacturing industry?
The impact of COVID-19 crisis has put the industry in a challenging situation. The entire manufacturing industry is transforming the way it used to work. It has diversified itself and has been turning this situation into an opportunity. It is strengthening its supply chain management and refocusing on its R&D. And most importantly it is investing in skill development due to the unprecedented surge in the demand. Within a stipulated time frame, it is working towards transitioning the entire industry to become self-sufficient. It is using both technology and its age-old expertise to change this scenario.
What will be the company’s growth plans for the next five years in terms of investments for the Indian market?
The Indian economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, despite the current crisis; the consumption patterns are impacted only in certain sectors but witnessing growth in the other sectors. Interestingly, the current situation has proven that the need for technology is critical in facing business challenges. PTC is committed to its customers’ success and continues to invest in technologies that are not only relevant to current market needs but also futuristic technologies that enable companies to gain a competitive advantage over global players.
Apart from the Indian market, tell us more about your global presence?
PTC is an American computer software and services company founded in 1985 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The global technology company has over 6,000 employees in over 80 offices in 30 countries. India is a very important and strategic market for us. It has our second-largest R&D unit in Pune.