January 1, 2023 marked the opening of RIWOlink – a new, independent Richard Wolf subsidiary that is taking on the Group’s digitization business and, in doing so, focusing more intently on addressing the demand for digitization services in hospital operating theaters. Jens Rennert is assuming the role of managing director of the new Richard Wolf GmbH subsidiary, which is based in Karlsruhe, Germany.
With today’s high-tech operating theaters facing a growing barrage of cost pressures and falling staff numbers, it is essential to create better and more efficient ways of managing the usability of complex equipment, workflows, and processes relating to planning and capacity utilization. Networked equipment in operating theaters, information availability, and structured preparation and utilization of data are all vital ingredients in optimizing efficiency and quality for surgeons and theater staff.
The new subsidiary is an illustration of the value that Richard Wolf is placing on digitization in healthcare – especially in operating theaters. “Efficient operating theater management is an indispensable element in patient safety, clinical results, and running hospitals cost-effectively. While it is based on established processes, there still needs to be enough flexibility built in to respond to emergencies and exceptional situations. The interdisciplinary work that takes place inside and outside operating theaters is a key challenge in how they are managed. Nurses, anesthetists, surgeons, care assistants, and cleaning staff all have to work in step with one another – and on top of this, there is the need to contend with developments in technology that make systems more complex, not to mention staffing challenges and huge pressure on costs,” says Jens Rennert, managing director of RIWOlink.
Many hospital operators see digitization in hospital environments – and especially in operating theaters – as one of the keys to overcoming these challenges. There are numerous aspects of digitization that are set to have a lasting impact on how operating theaters are managed: Just some of these are electronic medical records, artificial intelligence-based data processing, and cutting-edge IT concepts designed to make every piece of relevant patient and device data usable – in addition to making it possible to draw results and recommendations from this source and visualize them.
“This new subsidiary will allow us to reinforce what the Richard Wolf Group is able to offer in the area of healthcare digitization concepts. In turn, we will then be able to support our customers in rising to the challenges they face both today and in the future. The only way to keep our core business – endoscopy – fit for the future is to incorporate it into digitization strategies. The Richard Wolf Group will gain a competitive advantage from the opportunity to add more value and address customer needs by using its digitization services to access markets with a focus on endoscopy. With data and devices networked, collaborative work with industry partners – including those in the medical robotics field – will also ensure improved and more efficient integration into hospital settings,” continues Jens Rennert.
The new subsidiary will primarily focus on software, hardware, and services relating to networking operating theater systems, and on data and information management. It will also offer data analytics services that aim to boost efficiency and improve clinical results, one example being process consultation for the purpose of optimizing workflows in endoscopic operating theaters and related areas. Rounding off the subsidiary’s portfolio are consultation services for cyber security and risk management when running IT-supported systems in operating theaters.