Promising Partnership with the King Hussein Cancer Center in the Middle East
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In one of my past posts, I explained why a purely transactional approach between supplier and customer is no longer adequate. These days, you can’t just deliver imaging equipment and walk away. Instead, and rightfully so, the goal now is to have a two-way relationship, one in which both parties work together to build a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.
A key part of our partnerships with customers is about making sure that health providers get the most value out of their imaging equipment and achieve the goals they are working toward for their particular organization and region of the world. Core to that objective is understanding the local demographics of the patient population in their area and developing new services that can help them not only address patient needs but also help them differentiate themselves in their local market.
I was struck by how vividly this approach was brought to life earlier this year at the Arab Health medical exhibition and congress, where we showcased the latest Philips Innovations. It was here, too, that we cemented our association with the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC), one of the most highly rated oncology centers in the Arab world, to support its knowledgeable team in resolving the challenges of scaling its operations across the region.
KHCC serves a large patient population of Jordanian and surrounding countries with limited resources. Our initial conversations with KHCC weren’t focused on the number of MRI machines or CT scanners that we could sell. Instead, like all strong relationships, in the early days the emphasis was simply on getting to know each other, understanding needs, and sharing ideas. Through a series of candid discussions covering a variety of pain points faced by center management including staff retention, limited public awareness, quality management, and a lack of specific guidelines around education, we gained a solid understanding of their objectives, values and challenges. It was equally important that the KHCC team became familiar with us and our systems view and outcomes-focused approach to imaging.
Tackling cancer in the Middle East together
Our partnership grew from direct, connected solutions for the KHCC towards a partnership and, in doing so, is helping to bring oncology services in the Middle East to the next level. In 2016, they joined us at our Philips Oncology Round Table at Arab Health, after which we were appointed as strategic partner to the center. Our remit encompassed improvements to CME education in the Middle East, public awareness raising around early detection of cancer, and guidelines to improve the quality of oncology services in the region.
I remember how passionate Dr. Asem Mansour, the CEO and General Director of KHCC, was about the fight against cancer, his vision for the center and goal of improving the quality of oncology in the Middle East. We share his passion for this project and continue to work collaboratively with everyone at KHCC to make that goal a reality for them. There’s no doubt it’s an ambitious task but the results so far are heartening: more patients can be reached thanks to the center’s expansion, senior technicians have been upskilled on all our imaging modalities, and multiple awareness programs backed by sound scientific messaging have reached people across the region.
I’m happy to say this collaborative approach is not unique to our partnership with KHCC; it can be seen throughout Philips and extends to academic research partners as well. A great example of this is the collaboration between the University of Technology Eindhoven (TU/e), Philips, Maxima Medical Center, Catherina Hospital, and the Kempenhaeghe Expertise Center. Quality cancer research done at the TU/e University of Technology Eindhoven, combined with Philips Research support led to the practical application of possibilities to better detect esophageal cancer in practice at expert centers such as the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven and the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam.
The formation of clinic-academia-industry cooperative initiatives such as these, as well as promising partnerships with forward-thinking cancer centers such as KHCC, are critical to make significant progress in fighting diseases such as cancer across the world and in every form it takes. It’s clear to me that big challenges in healthcare such as fighting cancer - can be solved most effectively if we collaborate and co-create together. When we have the benefit of more than one view of the problem, we have a better chance of solving it. Don’t you agree?
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Kees Wesdorp joined Philips in 2017 to lead Philips’ largest business group, Diagnostic Imaging (DI). DI includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), Advanced Molecular Imaging (AMI) and Diagnostic X-Ray (DXR).