After more than two decades in the business, Jennifer Zinn, Executive Vice President— Laboratory Diagnostics and Point of Care, shares what she loves most about going to AACC, how the 2022 event will be different from years past, and what customers can expect from the Siemens Healthineers booth and Innovation Lounge.
Hi Jennifer! Have you ever played 20 Questions before?
Great, so you only have 19 to go! How many times have you attended AACC in your career?
This will be my 19th year attending AACC.
What is your favorite part of going?
Seeing all our customers and all of my colleagues that I've met over the years.
What is one thing that you have to do when you visit Chicago?
Eat Chicago pizza!
Is there a tip that you can recommend to the fellow AACC travelers?
Wear your most comfortable shoes. Do not buy new shoes for AACC!
What are you most excited for customers to see at the Siemens Healthineers booth?
Well, clearly every year it's an opportunity for us to highlight our innovation, and this year we have an Innovation Lounge where we will highlight what's yet to come for Siemens Healthineers. We’ll have exciting updates across our Atellica® laboratory portfolio and in areas such as hematology and automation, and our Point of Care solutions. I can’t say much more but be sure to come on by!
What type of healthcare setting would be the right fit for these innovations?
That's what's so exciting about this level of innovation: We are able to address the needs of very high-volume customers and very low-volume customers. When we think about Atellica® Solutions, we think about the smallest of labs all the way up to the largest of labs.
Outside of the Innovation Lounge and in the booth itself, what are you most excited for customers to see?
When we think about Siemens Healthineers, it's Atellica and the promise that Atellica brings, whether it's the need to have workflow efficiency that's achieved by our sample handler or the need to have high throughput in our Atellica® immunoassay and chemistry solutions. What I'm most excited for our customers to see is how Atellica can really drive both the workflow and clinical outcomes that our customers require.
How does this year’s booth size up to years past?
We've got a lot going on in our booth this year. Whether you're talking about clinical chemistry, immunoassay, our coag solutions, our point of care solutions, hematology, plasma protein, all of our assays, automation, IT. There's a lot going on. Coffee will definitely play an important role!
What's your go-to coffee order?
Definitely cappuccino, with a shot of espresso!
How long have you worked in the diagnostics industry?
How do you stay so passionate about diagnostics?
Well, as I reflect on the last two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, if you're not proud to be part of the diagnostics community after going through the worst health crisis we will ever see in our lifetime, I don't know what gets you out of bed in the morning!
What role did Siemens Healthineers play in addressing the challenges of COVID-19?
Diagnostics played a critical role in the population understanding and knowing what was going on with their health. Here at Siemens Healthineers, we did our part with antibody testing and rapid antigen testing to ensure that those who needed to know were able to find out whether they had the virus or had an immune response. We were able to bring those solutions forward, so that's what makes me passionate.
What do you think the biggest challenge from the last two years has been?
Taking the learnings from the pandemic, the biggest challenge in my mind is how we continue to innovate in the time frame that's needed—moving quickly, nimbly, and flexibly in a very stressful situation.
What type of innovation do you think will have the biggest impact on our customers coming out of AACC?
As we think about the challenges that our customers are facing as we move into the new normal, two points come to mind. One is the importance that data plays in making important health decisions. The role of our IT solutions and data moving within the infrastructure of a healthcare network will be more and more critical. Second, the importance of efficient workflow and the role it can play to address the staffing challenges that we know our customers are facing. I'm sure that as our customers depart AACC, they're going to be thinking about data, IT, and workflow efficiency.
Looking back at the last two years, is there anything that you would keep from that experience?
I would keep front of mind the impact of work-life integration and the importance of supporting the health and wellness of all our employees.
Is there anything that you'd be happy to give up about the last two years?
Testing! Nasopharyngeal testing. I would give that up.
What do you think will be different about this year's AACC?
This is really our first time with a full audience since we came together in Atlanta in 2021. This year, the standout is going to be all of us coming together to talk about what's new and what's next in diagnostics.
Why do you think diagnostic innovation is so important?
Diagnostics plays a role in 70% of the medical decisions that are made, and yet it only accounts for 2% of the total spend. So, when I think about diagnostics, it's about what we can do to achieve our true value in the healthcare continuum.
And what do you want to say to customers who are reading this interview?
I can't wait to see you in Chicago! The Siemens Healthineers team is gearing up to having a great show.
We look forward to welcoming you in the booth and at our customer event, which will take place on the Tuesday night of AACC. Hope to see you there!
Follow Jennifer Zinn on LinkedIn.
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