As we close the first quarter of this year, we start to see if our predictions for 2019 hold true. Developments in consumer health have been brought to life at major industry events including the Consumer Electronics Show 2019, held in Las Vegas in January. These events are a source of great inspiration to me.
The year of Personalized Health
For me the major global trend of note at the moment is the shift towards personalized health - and it is one that I predict will gain even more momentum in 2019. Empowering people to take control of their own health is critical to transforming healthcare. Consumers are asking for it, demographic developments demand it and technology enables it.
We are living in a time of fast-changing attitudes and approaches to health and of increasingly intelligent solutions. More and more we can expect solutions that adapt to people’s unique needs, motivations and characteristics, based on digital platforms that deliver data driven insights. Solutions should enable consumers to easily access their care providers and connect the full health ecosystem – ultimately leading to a more preventive, proactive and truly personalized health experience.
People should not have to adapt to technology, technology should adapt to people.
People should not have to adapt to technology, technology should adapt to people. And today’s technological advancements enable exactly that. We are using IoT, AI, sensory and Cloud technologies and leverage the power of data and analytics to seamlessly integrate solutions into people’s daily life and daily routines.
These are lofty ambitions you might think, but I have seen many examples from Philips and the industry to illustrate just how quickly this is happening.
To mention just two –
Firstly – sleep technology. From snoring problems to sleep apnea, ensuring effective sleep empowers us to feel confident and live our lives the way we want to. Building on the success of the launch of our SmartSleep technology at CES 2018, this year we are able to expand into even more advanced offerings with the announcement of a full suite of consumer sleep solutions. To proactive manage sleep problems or prevent them to worsen or occur in the future, we introduce the SmartSleep Analyzer which will help people identify and triage the most pressing sleep problems and direct them to suitable solutions and the SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band supporting the 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women who are habitual snorers. The latest connected Somneo wake-up light supports all phases of rest and the Better Sleep Program, for which Philips partnered with SleepRate, offers a fully customized and personalized sleep program that re-trains people to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep with sustainable results.
Secondly – and turning to the world of oral health, we are delighted to introduce the Sonicare Teledentistry service in North America. Again, to empower people to take a pro-active approach to oral health and help them to prevent oral disease, this service provides consumers with remote dental consultation from licensed dentists within 24 hours, giving you the confidence of good oral health in between dentist visits. The Philips Sonicare app acts as a ‘virtual hub’ for personal oral healthcare with personalized guidance and advice, helping users to for instance to adopt a good brushing technique and share brushing data with their dental practitioners. It is now even possible to opt in for an automated brush head reordering service.
Conscious that our global healthcare systems are under pressure like never before, it is greatly encouraging that people are eager to take control of their health. I am therefore greatly looking forward to seeing other ground-breaking solutions roll out into markets – helping people to evolve from passive healthcare recipients into active health consumers.
Roy Jakobs is Executive Vice President and Chief Business Leader for the Personal Health Businesses of Royal Philips, effective October 1, 2018. He is also member of the Executive Committee of Royal Philips. The Personal Health businesses comprise Personal Care, Domestic Appliances, Oral Healthcare and Mother & Child Care.