LeadPhilips and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Drive Sustainable Transformation in Radiology

Philips and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Drive Sustainable Transformation in Radiology

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Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Chicago, USA- Global health technology leader, Royal Philips, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), renowned for top-tier adult and pediatric hospitals in the Southeastern U.S., have unveiled historical advancement from their collaborative effort to decarbonize the health system’s radiology department. The project, initiated in May 2023, presents that sustainable initiatives can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective, marking a significant step towards a greener healthcare future.


The research assessed 13 diagnostic imaging devices, including MR, CT, ultrasound, and X-ray, accounting for an estimated 12,000 patient scans per month. Circular business models, such as upgrades, impressively reduced the total cost of ownership of MR systems by up to 23% and carbon emissions by 17%. For CT, refurbished systems and equipment upgrades contributed to a reduction in ownership costs by up to 10% and 8%, respectively, while also decreasing carbon emissions by 6% and 4%.

Over a 10-year period, diagnostic imaging devices emitted the CO₂ equivalent of approximately 1,000 gas cars driven for one year, highlighting the environmental impact of healthcare technology. Energy use from scanners accounted for more than half of the total emissions released from diagnostic radiology, with other generators including medical disposables, PACS, and linen production and laundry.

“Human health is closely connected to the health of the environment, and we need to take care of both, which is why we feel a great sense of urgency to address our carbon emissions and develop a more sustainable and healthier path forward,” said Diana Carver, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Our collaboration is leveraging our team’s collective knowledge and expertise to reveal key learnings that will direct our efforts to cut emissions.”

“It is imperative that healthcare acts quickly, collectively, and globally to mitigate climate impact. This study challenges conventional thinking that sustainability increases costs when it, in fact, does just the opposite. Energy-efficient, circular, digital and cloud-based technologies can help address climate change. Also, This research shows that individual behavioral changes can also play an important role in speeding up global efforts towards decarbonization,” said Jeff DiLullo, Chief Region Leader, Philips North America. “Our teams continue to work closely to define an approach and model that VUMC can leverage, anticipating results of this research will inspire others to take action.”

Also Read: Dubai to Host Annual Radiology Meeting 2023 

The research results were presented at the RSNA 2023 session “Exposing Sustainable Imaging Strategies: The Role of Practitioners in Reducing Carbon Footprint.” The collaboration continues to define an approach and model that VUMC can leverage, with hopes that the results will inspire others to take action. Philips has launched a new brand campaign, “care means the world,” at RSNA. This campaign emphasizes the interconnectedness of improving human health and environmental health. It displays Philips’ commitment to sustainability in healthcare innovation.

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