Philips Foundation focuses on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mother and child care, and acute (emergency) care, digitalizing and integrating technology-enabled healthcare solutions for underserved communities. The foundation explores ways to empower community health workers by providing them with tools, technologies, and skills that enhance the quality of care they can deliver. Increasing the probability of sustaining healthcare services and make them independent of donations, the foundation supports social entrepreneurs that share its commitment to create positive social impact. Examples of how these approaches are bringing about lasting change include:
- Deploying technology-enabled solutions - Despite its recognized benefits, diagnostic imaging to identify high-risk pregnancies is insufficiently available in many low-resource rural and remote areas, due to a shortage of trained physicians, as well as barriers such as a lack of awareness, distance to hospitals, and high out-of-pocket expenses. For example, Philips Foundation supports multiple projects that leverage the tele-health capabilities of Philips’ handheld point-of-care ultrasound platform to deliver expert remote learning programs for sonographers and midwives, as well as providing real-time support.
- Empowering community health workers - Completing the ‘last mile’ to connect people living in remote communities with their healthcare system often remains a challenge in limited-resource settings. In collaboration with the ‘Save a Mother’ initiative in Kenya, Philips Foundation is helping to provide community-based healthcare workers with a backpack full of diagnostic devices, from a contactless thermometer to a blood pressure monitor and an automated respiratory rate counter, that helps them diagnose conditions such as pneumonia, early-stage diabetes and high-risk pregnancies.
- Supporting social entrepreneurs - International NGOs typically fly in two-thirds of the aid supplies they need when responding to a humanitarian crisis because they cannot easily leverage local supply chains. Through its social impact investment vehicle (Philips Foundation Impact Investments B.V.), Philips Foundation is providing financial support and guidance on how to scale up social enterprises such as Solvoz, which created a digital procurement platform that allows aid organizations to quickly identify local sources of the equipment and services needed for rapid disaster response.