Siemens Imaging Service Software

—–Original Message—–

From: Biomedtalk [mailto:Biomedtalk-L@BMETSONLINE.COM] On Behalf Of Furst, Russell
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 6:35 AM
To: Biomedtalk-L@BMETSONLINE.COM
Subject: [BIOMEDTALK-L] Siemens Imaging, Service access

We are considering the purchase of a couple Siemens Cath labs. We haven’t had any new Siemens equipment in our facility for about 10 years so I am not as familiar with the in-house serviceability of their equipment as I am with the other big players. My understanding from discussions with their service team is that even with a factory trained engineer, there is virtually nothing you can do without the service key and that unlike other vendors whose service key will work for a year at a time or even the length of a service contract, that you have to routinely call into Siemens to get what is essentially an activation code to access the service menu. It was further described to me that on a time and material basis, every time you want to access the service, for whatever reason, you have to call in and essentially “get permission” and get issued a temporary service key.

So, I am looking for some feedback from in-house service folks to help me better understand the how problematic the service key issue is and how much of a barrier it presents to in-house service. Feel free to contact me off-list.

Russell Furst
Manager, Biomedical Engineering
Lakeland Regional Health System

Response:

Russell,

Like most other OEM’s for some time now you have to pay what I refer to as an “extortion fee” to use the Service Software. It is apparently by design you are given little or no access to your own equipment at a software service level. Also different service levels exist and the key is available with different types of contracts from shared service (first look) on up. The key expires a year after issue and you must call and obtain the key code each year. It is generated from some algorithm using the date and some other numbers from your system. We keep a database of our service keys to help limit the chances finding it to be expired in a service emergency. I called (Siemens) a day early once and they (could only) email me the same key code I had. By phone the procedure usually takes only about 3 to 5 minutes.

John West
Sr. Diagnostic Imaging Technician, CBET, CRES
Biomedical Engineering Dept, Imaging
Methodist Dallas Medical Center
Dallas, TX 75203

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