Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’m turning to you at a time which can be considered extraordinary in every respect – both for you and for us. A regionally limited problem has developed into a pandemic at an unprecedented speed. The spread of COVID-19 poses special challenges for societies around the world and puts the issue of “health” into sharp focus for all of us. For this reason, our approximately 53,000 employees are working harder than ever on what’s most important to us: we are helping healthcare providers wherever and whenever possible, so that they can provide the best possible care for their patients.
Our teams have done extraordinary work in China right from the start of the infections, providing our imaging equipment where it is most needed – overnight and across hundreds of kilometers. At our plants in China, we have learned how to continue operations in difficult circumstances. We have so far succeeded – not least because our employees respond quickly and embody our values – in keeping our business stable overall. In part, we are even seeing a significantly increased interest in our imaging equipment.
Our computed tomography (CT) systems are used to monitor patients with acute or impending lung failure and to ensure they receive the necessary therapies – especially in the intensive care treatment of ventilated patients. At the same time, our X-ray and ultrasound devices are used in the overall care process of ill people. We are striving to make sure these devices, as well as blood gas systems for monitoring of ventilated patients, are available wherever infected and sick people need quick and reliable care. We are working every day on further innovations using the latest tools such as algorithms based on artificial intelligence (AI). In the future, these AI algorithms may help to detect damage to lung tissue very quickly in CT images. In addition, our digital services enable medical personnel to operate our systems safely and efficiently, regardless of their location and thus without the risk of infection as well as the development of a SARS CoV-2 virus test that is not tied to a specific analysis platform.
Our aspiration to drive innovations forward so people live healthier and longer lives is more valid today than ever before. We are stepping up as a partner to support healthcare systems. We are working closely with policymakers and healthcare providers around the world to ensure that people have the best possible access to healthcare. Helping people has been the purpose of our company for over 120 years. And that is still true today and in the future!