By Kurt Woock
Jeff Soinski is no novice. When he helped found Unisyn Medical Technologies, Golden, Colo, where he is currently the CEO, he already had experience running two other health care companies. The histories of the three companies that came together to form Unisyn contributed to a company that might have been “new” in name, but not new at all to the health care field. That depth of experience is reflected in the breadth of services and products Unisyn offers. Unisyn provides service and support on a variety of diagnostic imaging modalities, and manufactures proprietary testing devices in its ISO-certified facility. 24×7 sat down with Soinski, where he described the company’s formation and its array of diagnostic solutions.
24×7: For those readers who have not interacted with your company before, can you introduce it?
Soinski: Our solutions are focused on four core modalities: MRI, CT, ultrasound, and mammography. We have developed customized service and support solutions for a wide variety of customers, from single-site diagnostic imaging centers, which usually require a full-service solution, to large multi-hospital systems, which often want to be empowered to take on more of their own service needs for their imaging assets. Much of our technology is focused around the repair of ultrasound transducers.
A Quick Take
24×7: Can you share a bit about your history in the field and your history at Unisyn?
Soinski: I joined Unisyn in September 2009, concurrent with its formation by Galen Partners. Prior to joining Unisyn, I was a special venture partner at Galen Partners and worked with the investment partners there to complete the acquisition of our three legacy companies, which ultimately came together to form Unisyn. Unisyn is the third health care company I have led as CEO.
24×7: Which platforms do you service?
Soinski: Unisyn specializes in multiple vendor platforms across our four core modalities, including many of the most popular systems from GE, Philips, Siemens, and Toshiba. A listing of platform coverage can be found on our website at www.unisynmedical.com.
24×7: What sets your company apart from its competitors?
Soinski: One of the important ways we differentiate our company is through our investment in state-of-the art quality systems, including our certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 international quality standards. This enables us to provide products and services to support the major diagnostic imaging OEM multivendor groups and national ISO organizations, all of which have become more important customers over the past few years.
We also provide differentiation through our continued investment in technology and advanced repair capabilities. Unisyn has an extensive intellectual property portfolio around its proprietary test equipment, including FirstCall. In addition, we have nine engineers on staff focused on the development of new and advanced repair capabilities, as well as the development of next-generation repair tools and test equipment.
On the service side of our business, we have invested in our field service engineers. We have augmented their expertise by developing our own advanced internal training programs and building a team of expert technical support leaders across our four core modalities.
24×7:How do you keep FirstCall, which has been one of your mainstay products for a long time, up to speed with today’s technologies?
Soinski: Introduced more than a decade ago, our patented FirstCall probe-testing device is designed to reveal acoustic or electrical defects that could impact a probe’s clinical efficacy. Since that time, FirstCall has had a number of software upgrades and improvements. Unisyn continues to expand the capabilities of this device and last year introduced FirstCall testing capabilities of GE LOGIQ E9 probes.
24×7:What area of the country do you service?
Soinski: Unisyn Medical Technologies is a nationwide diagnostic imaging service provider with a national footprint. However, like most national companies in our space, we do have pockets of significant regional strength with a relatively higher density of field service engineers and an installed base of assets under contract. Some of the regional areas in which we have a strong presence are: Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, along with certain areas in the Southeast, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Our transactional business, which includes probe repair and exchange and replacement parts, has no geographic boundaries. We supply probes and parts anywhere in the United States with next-day delivery.
24×7: Where are you seeing the most growth in your company?
Soinski: We have focused our business-development efforts on driving growth in two key business areas: multimodality field service and what we call our transactional business, which encompasses probe repair and exchange, replacement parts, and proprietary test equipment.
Our field service business has seen its strongest growth in relatively higher value MRI and CT service contracts. We have also increased our efforts in developing effective service partnership programs for asset-management organizations and larger in-house groups. To provide more accessible, direct consultation for end user customers, we have expanded our national service sales force over the past year to a team of seven sales professionals located throughout the country.
While we continue to sell probes and replacement parts directly to end user customers through our six-person customer support team, our transactional business has experienced the most growth through strategic relationships with channel partners. We have developed an important strategic relationship with PartsSource to provide broad access to a wide variety of end user customers. We have expanded our supply relationships with leading OEM multivendor and national asset-management organizations. And, we have implemented comprehensive probe management programs, including the installation of our proprietary test equipment, with certain quality-minded, multihospital health systems.
24×7: When you are working with hospital administrators, what do you hear they most need these days?
Soinski: From C-suites to clinical engineering departments, everyone is responsible for watching the bottom line. Individuals who used to be solely responsible for maintaining assets are now also responsible for maintaining the budget and delivering cost savings to the organization, and their role within the organization often depends on it.
Trends in the diagnostic imaging market are reflective of overall health care trends. Because cash flow in is decreasing, cash outflow is being carefully scrutinized, and areas where budgets were once much larger are taking a hit. At the same time, in an effort to increase volume, patient attraction is a must, and top-of-the-line facilities, physicians, and equipment are often the allure. The challenge is doing more with less, and as part of that facilities are becoming more creative and involved in managing their diagnostic imaging assets. That’s where Unisyn can help.
24×7: Do you help in ways other than providing savings?
Soinski: Unisyn truly partners with our customers. We identify our customers’ unique program needs, inventory their hospitals’ assets, and help in planning their long- and short-term goals. Our goals are to listen to our customers and empower them with a customized solution to meet their specific needs, which encompasses everything from training and supporting their internal service professionals with parts and probes to providing “first-look” or full-service contracts.
One example of this is our work for a major Midwestern IDN [Integrated Delivery Network] that had depended on an asset manager for full contractual responsibility for their ultrasound assets for more than a decade. The IDN’s management made the strategic decision to bring responsibility for their ultrasound assets in-house through their clinical engineering group. Unisyn brought their full ultrasound portfolio to bear in order to empower the IDN’s clinical engineering team to support their entire fleet of ultrasound assets. Unisyn went on-site to train the IDN’s service and clinical professionals with a “Proper Care and Handling of Transducers” module and deployed four of our proprietary FirstCall probe testing devices to assess and maintain their probe fleet. In addition, we are conducting advanced service training courses for the clinical engineering staff and are providing 24/7 technical support. 24×7 Industry Insider April 2013
Kurt Woock is the associate editor of 24×7. Contact him at [email protected].