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An innovative response scenario to ageing and chronic disease in ASEAN countries



Asia-Pacific is currently home to over half of the world’s elderly population. This region is experiencing population aging at an unprecedented pace, due to the tremendous improvements in life expectancy combined with falling fertility rates. The number of older persons in the region is expected to triple from 438 million in 2010 to more than 1.26 billion by 2050. By then, almost two thirds of the world’s older persons will be living in Asia-Pacific, with one in four people in the region expected to be over 60 years old[1]

Besides, Asia is witnessing the rise of chronic non-communicable diseases, not only related to ageing but also to changes in lifestyles as a consequence of increased income and consumption, shift of jobs from agriculture or manufacturing to services, as well as populations moving to cities. The growing burden of chronic disease will seriously affect the quality of life of older people and create economic and other hardships for national health systems. Governments must prepare to deal with ageing. Innovation (be it technological, social, in business models, etc.) will be key to responding to ASEAN countries’ health challenges and to building the future of health.

Philips Chronic Disease

At Philips, three pillars of that innovative response scenario are:


  1. The need for a radical transformation of health systems (starting from primary care) to leapfrog from the current status into a future healthcare system, which addresses the demand for healthcare, and recognizes the economic value of equitable and affordable health for all. To implement this goal it is critical to put in place new business models based on shared values, develop new and sustainable financing mechanisms for healthcare and investing in local partnerships for local activation.

  2. Instrumental to that transformation are partnerships between industry, NGOs and, most importantly, with governments, that allow scaling and widening access to health innovation, especially in limited resource areas. This implies creating accessible, affordable and appropriate innovation that delivers impact at scale, leaving no one behind.

  3. Boosting digital, connected care as an opportunity to strengthen the role of primary care in ASEAN countries for the promotion of healthy habits, avoiding risk factors, and empowering individuals to take ownership of their own health. Digital health technologies and connected care will be a key enabler for achieving the necessary touch points and care coordination across the health continuum. We believe in their possibilities as tools for personalized health programs, public health management, adherence to therapies, prevention of rapidly rising non-communicable diseases, of monitoring respiratory diseases, among many other applications.

Philips Chronic Disease

Philips has developed many innovations and partnerships in the area of digital, connected health from primary to specialized care, responding to diverse healthcare needs from pregnancy and delivery to cardiovascular chronic diseases. Earlier this year, Philips announced an agreement with the Sijunjung Regency in West Sumatra, Indonesia, for the full-scale deployment of its Mobile Obstetrics Monitoring (MOM) service in the region, to reduce the occurrences of maternal mortality in Indonesia.

Philips Chronic Disease

Also in January 2016, as a long-standing and valued industry partner of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Philips and the EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the EDB, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly invest in select, high-potential digital health companies, especially in the area of Population Health Management, from around the world seeking to break into the Asian market through Singapore. Under the MoU, EDBI and Philips will focus on mid-to-late stage digital health companies, allowing them to set up base in Singapore with the goal to serve the Asian market for Population Health Management. The agreement will also create business opportunities, advance the local healthcare ecosystem and strengthen Singapore’s position as one of the leading digital health hubs in Asia.

Philips strongly believes in these three basic pillars to address ageing and chronic diseases in ASEAN countries and aims to partner with local stakeholders in the region in this co-creation process.

Walter van Kuijen

Senior Vice President, Global Government and Public Affairs, Royal Philips

Walter van Kuijen started his career at Philips in 1992 as a Marketing Specialist at Philips Industrial Electronics in the Netherlands. After further work in Product Management, Sales and Service and Marketing Management for Philips Medical Systems, Walter became the Director of the Sales and Services District Netherlands in 2001.


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