Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom – Heidelberg Engineering UK celebrates its 10-year anniversary on 17th August 2021. Since its launch as a direct subsidiary of Heidelberg Engineering GmbH in 2011, the company has installed hundreds of diagnostic imaging instruments, delivered thousands of hours of education, and launched several new innovative products that deliver clinically relevant benefits to clinicians and their patients.
Krysten Williams, Head of Global Marketing and Education at Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, took the lead in establishing the Heidelberg Engineering UK. Krysten, now based at the global headquarters in Germany, hand-picked a small, experienced, team of ophthalmic industry professionals to work promoting the benefits of the SPECTRALIS® multimodal imaging platform to NHS trusts and optometry practices.
“When Christoph Schoess, Co-founder and Managing Director of Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, asked me to start Heidelberg Engineering in the UK, he gave me a very clear brief: assemble a ‘dream team’ of experts to focus on raising the standard of multi-modal imaging through education. He believed that this educational approach would create demand for our imaging solutions,” Krysten said. “There was never a financial target. The goal was to empower clinicians to improve patient care. It was this fundamental principle and the power of the Heidelberg Engineering brand that appealed and continues to appeal to an amazing team of experts who love imaging and have an unswerving duty of care to patients. It is my privilege to work with such a dedicated and high-performance team.”
Michael Raines, Consultant Ophthalmologist, purchased the first SPECTRALIS sold by the Heidelberg Engineering UK team. First installed in 2012 at The Lancashire Eye Clinic in Lytham St Annes, it is still in regular use today and has since benefitted from numerous upgrades that offer enhanced imaging functionality, including the MultiColor, Anterior Segment, and Widefield Imaging modules.
“When we bought the SPECTRALIS 10 years ago, we did not really appreciate how good it was going to be,” Michael said. “Through the years, it has served our clinic and patients superbly, and of course all the staff like a quick regular scan! I don’t know how we ever managed without it! Thank you to Heidelberg Engineering UK and to Kenny Boyle and Phill Ennion who started with us all those years ago.”
Hundreds of SPECTRALIS have been installed in the UK since, and the device can be found in nearly every NHS eye department throughout the country, from The Balfour Hospital in the Orkney Islands to West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance.
Heidelberg Engineering has released many new products over the last decade. The MultiColor Module for SPECTRALIS was launched in 2012, followed by an additional eight imaging modules in subsequent years. Each offers clinically beneficial, complementary diagnostic information, which established the SPECTRALIS as a truly upgradeable, multimodal imaging platform. 2017 saw the launch of a new ophthalmic image management software solution, HEYEX 2. In 2019, in perhaps its most significant product launch in a decade, Heidelberg Engineering introduced an entirely new imaging platform, the ANTERION, which propelled the team into new markets for cataract and refractive surgery as well as cornea and glaucoma diagnostics.
True to its commitment to clinical education for better patient outcomes, the team founded the Heidelberg Engineering Academy UK in 2012. The Academy is well known for running high quality educational events year-round. Heidelberg Engineering was the first diagnostic imaging company in the UK to offer CET-accredited educational peer discussion “roadshow” events nationwide for optometrists and dispensing opticians on OCT interpretation, which encouraged other companies to follow and helped transform access to high quality education in primary care. The roadshows have been touring dozens of cities, and since 2011, Heidelberg Engineering UK has submitted 12107 CET points to the General Optical Council. This activity built a strong relationship between the company’s primary and secondary care customers. The COVID-19 pandemic moved the Academy offerings online, enabling more people than ever to access the content, and 29 free-to-attend webinars have been delivered to over 3000 unique participants since April 2020.
“Every person who works at Heidelberg Engineering is genuinely passionate about eye health care and works diligently to improve the standard of knowledge and education in diagnostic imaging among eye care professionals”, said Emily Malbon, Head of UK Marketing and Education, Heidelberg Engineering Ltd. “The ultimate goal is saving people’s vision. To achieve this, we recognized from day one that providing our customers with the very best products, education, and support is of paramount importance. It is truly an honor to be head of the Academy in the UK and to be involved every day in such a worthwhile cause.”
The future looks bright for Heidelberg Engineering UK. Customers can look forward to several exciting product launches which will introduce novel technologies that enhance the clinicians’ diagnostic capabilities with improved image capture.
“The company is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our customers and their patients. We are always looking for innovative ways of scanning and diagnosing ophthalmic conditions, and managing the data seamlessly, so that clinicians can decide on patient treatments more effectively”, said Tosh Vadhia, General Manager, Heidelberg Engineering Ltd “Heidelberg Engineering will continue to strive to be at the forefront of diagnostic imaging technology and represent the gold standard in how industry can and should support ophthalmology. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers and we look forward to serving you into the next decade and beyond.”