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How the Internet of Things is revolutionizing healthcare



The consumerization of the healthcare industry is developing with such rapidity that the entire market is being recalibrated. Companies that have never before exerted influence in this sector are swiftly becoming its major power-brokers. Business models are being redesigned to adapt to the growing influence of data-fuelled customers. Unique partnerships are being forged between agile start-ups and established brands to capitalize on this new digital-first world.

Much of this change is the result of the revolution in data which is empowering people to live healthier lives by using connected devices such as tablets, wearables and hand-held devices. This ‘Internet of Things’ means that consumers now have the power to take control of their own health in a highly personalized manner.


The advances in cloud-based technology have also been key. This year, for example, a unique strategic partnership between Philips and has created a platform that enables medical devices to operate in conjunction with deep sets of data.

The analysis of this data – amassed through electronic medical records, diagnostic information gathered through imaging equipment, monitors and hand-held personal devices – enhances the decision-making powers of professionals and enables patients to take a more active role in managing their personal health. These innovations are transforming not just the care of the chronically ill but those who are and want to remain healthy.

By the end of the decade, this data-rich personalized analysis of our health will become the norm. Individuals will be provided with tailor-made strategies to combat illness and social technologies will enable us to manage our own health. From the data generated, we will learn how to improve our wellbeing and be motivated to take control.


And as the consumer takes more control in this digital-first world, so the business model of the health industry will need to revolutionize, to take into account the fact that any company can now become a healthcare provider – as long as their technology is meaningful to the customer.


In addition, traditional businesses will need to collaborate with smaller companies, many of which may never have been involved in the health industry before. Alliances that are able to combine the most advanced medical technology with clinical informatics and secure cloud-based platforms will triumph.


The challenge we face is not just in developing these technologies – but making sure we always listen to our customers.  Products need to be meaningful if they are to be scalable and they need to be simple to use – no matter the location or demographic in which they’re used. This is why we developed Philips Lifeline GoSafe, a mobile personal emergency response system for seniors, which will be launched in the US in the near future.


That way, the awesome power of the Internet of Things will be fully realized – an infinite array of smart connected solutions designed to improve our health, environment and productivity through intelligent use of data. Whether that means empowering us to monitor and control our domestic air quality, or equipping medics with cloud-based tools that allow them to ‘consult’ with patients who aren’t even in the same room, or even the same city.


Consumers, patients and those working in medical professions will all need to alter their mindsets to take full advantage of this revolution in healthcare and be provided with innovative methods to motivate a change in behavior. And so, it will be the companies who are able to offer cutting-edge, highly personalized solutions – that are both meaningful and trustworthy – who will become our new health mentors.

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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