Q&A: Philips’ Navin Natoewal talks health technology software licensing
Estimated reading time: 4-6 minutes
Intro: As a leading innovator in health technology, Philips invests approximately EUR 1.8 billion annually in its global R&D programs, resulting in new ideas, inventions, and ultimately new products and solutions. The majority of these innovations are brought to market by Philips’ businesses in Diagnosis & Treatment, Connected Care and Personal Health. To complement these efforts some of our new technologies are licensed to third parties. General Manager of Integrated Technology Solutions Navin Natoewal discusses how Philips’ health technology licensing business is bringing innovative healthy living technologies to the market.
Q: Tell us about your role and business responsibilities?
NN: I oversee the development and marketing of innovative business-to-business health technology software applications that leverage the strength of Philips’ intellectual property, R&D investments and expertise in healthcare solutions. My team and I translate technological breakthroughs into commercially viable propositions, taking them from the research and development stage to sales and marketing. My business portfolio focuses on bio-physical measurements and interpretation of these measurements, catering to channels such as smart watches and wearables, mobile phones, and internet of thing (IoT) devices. We work closely with customers to create new value propositions that help end users improve their health through greater insights and awareness.
Q: What trends do you see today in consumer health technology?
NN: Today’s consumers are increasingly interested in understanding their health in real time. While this meant counting their steps at the most basic level, today, they want to track and monitor their fitness levels, sleep cycles, stress levels, pregnancy, diets – and the impact these have on overall health and wellbeing. While medical professionals are capable of absorbing measurement data, consumers benefit most from the interpretation of measurements into easy-to-understand and actionable insights. Our technologies tap into this trend – by investing in R&D to create a portfolio of solutions that help consumers read and interpret their health data, and in turn lead healthier lives.
Q: What exciting technologies are you currently working on?
NN: As part of Philips’ commitment to healthy living and prevention, Philips’ health technology software licensing portfolio features three unique technologies, and I am particularly excited about the latest addition, which is EmoGraphy. This Philips technology uniquely uses skin conductance to measure a person’s daily stress, and predicts the impact of stress on the user’s cognitive capability.
EmoGraphy is the only technology that exploits the correlation between skin conductance measures by a consumer’s wearable, and the stress hormone cortisol to provide meaningful information about an individual’s short-term daily stress level. The technology applies a unique algorithm unlike anything else on the market to calculate the cortisol contribution of a stressor, thus tracking the body’s response to stressors. The technology also offers actionable insights to aid in stress recovery, adding greater value to the consumer’s wearable.
The other two exciting technologies in our licensing program are VitalSigns Camera, which measures heart rate and breathing rate from a distance using a camera through minute changes in the skin perfusion, and VitalSigns Optical, which measures vital signs, wellness, activity and sleep with a wrist-worn sensor, giving users an accurate reading of their overall health picture.
These technologies are licensed to third-party customers that implement the software within their own branded products. Through our support organization, our customers can customize these technologies in such a way that specifically suits their consumers and needs.
Q: How do you support Philips partners along the way?
NN: We not only license our solutions to partners, we also bring the tools and expertise they need to make the most of our intellectual property and integrate the technology into their designs. In this way, we help them introduce new products and applications, shorten time-to-market, reduce development costs and break into new markets. Cultivating a partnership with Philips will foster a long-term business relationship, which will ultimately lead to bringing the best innovations to market. The long-term relationship with our customers, many times, results in them using multiple of our technologies across their product portfolio.