It’s no secret that hospitals have recently begun to take a greater interest in the unique needs of women. Without an accepted definition of a ‘formal’ women’s health program, hospitals can tailor a women’s service line to their available resources. As a low-cost strategy for hospitals to build a new service and bring in additional volumes, it’s no wonder that women’s health care has become an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Want to succeed in women’s health? Go beyond quality service and build a product
In September 2011, Philips acquired Sectra, giving it a foothold in the mammography terrain. Philips is now developing an imaging technology with the ability to obtain both a mammogram and spectral image in a single exposure. That means the patient has a shorter exam time than screening mammography with less radiation exposure, while the radiologist gets detailed information on breast density and lesion characterization—all during the initial screening phase.
This imaging technology—single-shot spectral mammography (SSSM)—is currently in use throughout most European countries, Australia, and New Zealand, and will be submitted for FDA approval later this year. SSSM will be available as either a standalone investment or an add-on to Philips’s existing mammography units.
The latest tool in breast cancer screening: Single-shot spectral mammography
In the U.S., patients have increasingly sought out alternatives to the typical maternity ward stay in favor of care settings that emphasize patient comfort. One option that has been growing in popularity in recent years is the freestanding birth center, also known as a maternity or midwifery center.
These centers are staffed by providers—typically nurse midwives, as well as OB/GYNs with an interest in low-tech deliveries—committed to providing holistic, patient-centered care that is less medically-intensive than the typical hospital maternity ward stay. Doulas or health coaches may also be involved in patient care in non-clinical roles, leading the laboring mother in breathing exercises and therapeutic massage.
The Goldilocks problem in obstetrics: High tech? Low tech? Just right.