Germany’s Air-tube System company Aerocom keen on working with Zim hospitals

A Germany headquartered company Aerocom, a leading global designer of pneumatic tube systems which reduces the turnaround time of samples between the laboratory and hospitals, anticipates to have its systems in Zimbabwe  next year.

By Kuda Pembere

Often called an AirTube System, it is a means of transporting a small payload, typically up to 5kg maximum, within a carrier which is moved within a tube between different locations by air.

At a time when the majority of hospitals rely on porters to move samples from the nurse who would have collected them to the laboratory for testing, this system l by more than 40 percent.

In an interview with Aerocom’s export manager Mr Stefan Brech who is in the country, he said since the company has been operating for more than 60 years, their technology has been evolving with the times and that Zimbabwe could benefit with their latest pneumatic system with many features.

So here in Zimbabwe, we are at the beginning because the technology can add so many features.  We have countries in Northern Europe where we are checking currently the possibility of combining the drone transport and our pneumatic tube systems.

He said by next year their product could be in the country after agreements with Zimbabwe’s public and private healthcare centres’ management.

“First of all, it is project business meaning my target is just not to quickly come and set up the systems in Zimbabwe. It is not possible because we are talking about projects in the health sector. So a budget is necessary. So this has to be planned. And then the hospitals have their own timelines for refurbishments or for new buildings.

“My personal wish is that we can have the first system operable next year, 2024. I think this is realistic because as I was also talking to PCD Diagnostics, we were discussing that we do not say this is our target for next year to sell a certain number.

“Related to this, I have no expectations because they know what is going on and the market creates the demand. I am here to show them if they want the system it is available via PCD Diagnostics which can provide it and install it, and maintain it,” the Aerocom official said.

He also explained how their system works.

“Turnaround time means from taking the blood, bringing it to the lab, analyzing it and sending back the results to the doctor.

“This is what we call turnaround time. Instead of this walking procedure, a nurse can take the blood sample into a laboratory plastic bag into the capsule into one of the stations in her ward or department and then it flies through the tube driven by air to the lab, in the lab it comes out.

“That capsules will be intact. It goes with the speed of six to eight metres per second. It does not stop, not chat with others. It does not wait for the lift. It goes straight to the lab. So the turnaround time is reduced. The most important benefit is for the patient and also for the lab because you save 40 percent of the time because most of the time is spent by walking,” Mr Brech said. “The efficiency of the lab is much better because it comes with everything that is the capsule and samples.”

The family owned company founded by Dr Wolfram Pfitzer currently run by his two sons Roland and Rudiger has its operations in 80 countries across all continents, and 20 of these countries are in Africa.

Management from PCD Diagnostic said, “We are proud to represent them and we hope to penetrate the market and assisting the hospitals to expedite their work in an efficient manner. I think it is a long term relationship with Aerocom and also  Government of Zimbabwe as well as the private medical sector.”



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