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This is the age of the consumer. You are in charge. You go to the supermarket, and you can gather, scan and pay for all your goods without any interaction with anyone else, or better order online, get a personal discount and get your groceries delivered to your home. You go on a holiday: you compare flight options, book online, check yourself in, take yourself through a passport eye-scanner. You do your banking: check your balance, transfer funds, monitor your portfolio, track everything you bought for the last three months, be that in New York City or a small rural village deep in India – all under your control.
And yet for all this, in the one area of your life where you truly need control, where self-management wouldn’t just make your day ‘a bit easier’, but could impact it beyond recognition, technology has been lagging. Until now.

Philips started the journey towards patient-centric care years ago, culminating in June last year with the launch of our HealthSuite Digital Platform, a cloud-based platform that supports the secure collection and analysis of data related to a person’s health and lifestyle.

 

But to create a truly compelling user experience, we knew we needed more than the data. We had to take the next steps, working with strong clinical and industry partners to build solutions on top of our platform. Clinical solutions that empower people to not only integrate their health data … but to effectively be able to use it in meaningful ways.

As I watch my daughter Kim, struggling with her diabetes every day, I realize that we need to give her the tools to manage her condition, but also to give her access to a vibrant community of patients like her, to her care givers (including myself) and clinicians.

 

Together with Salesforce and Dutch Radboud university medical center and a group of patients and clinicians we have developed a solution to support people living with Type 1 diabetes. It’s a prototype system that offers a personalized dashboard with instant access to an online community, which brings all (clinicians, pharmacists, patients, care givers) and everything – (clinical data, medical records, device and patient-driven data) together.

 

And in the middle of all this lies the link we believe has been missing from healthcare. Patients have always been able to access healthcare professionals, the people who know what they’re going through. Through local support groups or online forums, they’ve always been able to access other patients, the people who feel what they’re going through.

But what about a place where they can access both? What if we could make it data-driven? What if we could create a secure and curated community where patient communities can seamlessly integrate into the overall care management process?

 

Such a concept of communities integrated in the care process has already proved itself in some quarters; Radboud’s ParkinsonNet is a hugely powerful Netherlands-based online community where over 2,700 medical and allied health professionals offer support to those with Parkinson’s and their care givers.

 

And so, both using and advancing this model, we created this diabetes solution, where the clinician’s expert medical knowledge and the analysis from a wireless glucose meter can be shared just as easily as a recipe tip from another diabetes patient who’s just mastered the perfect low-carb chocolate mousse.

For the 387 million people across the world living with diabetes, life can be filled with challenges people without diabetes wouldn’t even think about. Every single day, they must make up to 180 decisions about their health – I know, as witness with Kim, who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was just 12. We can now help her, and people like her, in these daily decisions, taking away the strain and replacing it with a proactive power to manage her own condition, knowing that there is a care team ready to support her in all aspects of her condition.

 

This is the new paradigm for healthcare: connected, patient-centric care with professional support as and when needed. This allows patient to take control, while caregivers can help avoid deterioration through targeted early interventions. Patients will be able to report how they feel, they can manage their carb intake, while the wireless glucose meter can report spikes in blood sugar. The healthcare professional can then intervene to offer advice before it becomes a serious complication. This approach has the potential to help lower care spending budgets by avoiding hospitalization and expensive emergency care.

And we want to take it one step further: to support consumers in the prevention of lifestyle diseases, like obesity and diabetes type 2. That’s why, last week at the IFA Global Innovations Show in Berlin, we announced our new Philips personal health programs. The Philips personal health programs represent a new era in connected care for consumers, patients and health providers, as healthcare continues to move outside the hospital, and into our homes and everyday lives.

 

These programs will empower individuals: to measure vital signs to understand how lifestyle choices affect their body; to set goals and monitor their progress; and to stay motivated with intelligent programs responding to the individual’s progress and making personalized recommendations. Philips personal health programs will help consumers develop healthy habits for life.

Our health programs are not about generic fitness tracking. These programs are being developed with leading doctors and psychologists, and leverage the deep clinical knowledge and professional healthcare expertise of Philips. The programs will meet the highest privacy and security standards, observing local laws such as the EU Privacy Directive and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). They are built on the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform, an open, cloud-based platform that collects and analyzes health and other data from multiple devices and sources.

 

And so it’s with continued innovations like these solutions that Philips can keep offering ever more clinical integration, ever better patient-management, ever more preventative care – and we can keep taking ever more steps towards patient and consumer centric collaborative healthcare.

Jeroen Tas

 

CEO, Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services Philips

Jeroen Tas has over 30 years of global experience as an entrepreneur and senior executive in the financial services, healthcare and information technology industries. Currently he is the CEO of the Philips Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services Business Group.

 

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