Designing the future of HealthTech

healthcare transformation service
Ten years ago, as the company celebrated 80 years of design, Philips had a well-respected but relatively small healthcare business, renowned in particular for its innovations in imaging.


Today, Philips is a leading health technology solutions company. And yet how did it move from being an equipment provider to reimagining the future of healthcare provision? The answer is anchored in innovation and a commitment to visionary, challenging thinking realized through design.

Healthcare Transformation Service was set up to envision and collaborate on the future of global healthcare.

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Chief Design Officer for Philips HealthTech North America and Head of Design Consulting, Sean Hughes explains: “Over the last 10 years we have built our product portfolio through a combination of our own innovations together with acquisitions.


Acquisitions such as LifeLine and Respironics helped grow our business while breakthrough new technologies such as, low dosage radiation protocol, EICU algorithms and development in the field of genomics furthered our reputation for specialist medical and technological expertise. After all, Philips is a market leader in imaging since the 1990s and over 50% of patients will use a Philips monitor in a life-challenging situation. In addition to this, our people-centric focus has also continued to develop with our Ambient Experience solution changing the patient experience. Respected and well-known within the treatment space and with an extensive portfolio, we set up Healthcare Transformation Services to envision and collaborate on the future of global healthcare.”


Sean Hughes continues: “We now work with institutions and enterprises to say, ‘let’s transform care in New York State, USA or partner with Karolinska Hospital to impact care in Sweden. Together we are designing the healthcare services of the future and with hospitals being designed for context and demographic, diagnosis, monitoring and care can be extended out of the hospital into the home. And we’re partnering with hospitals for the long term to create new business models.

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One such example is the pilot program Philips ran with Banner Health called eIAC (Intensive Ambulatory Care) that sought to connect chronically ill patients who were able to walk around to their care providers remotely and prevent them from making emergency trips to the hospital.


The pilot program focused on the most complex and highest cost patients to rethink the delivery mechanism and utilize technology in a way it hadn’t before. Design was, of course a key part of this re-engineering. The Philips Design team configured the system together with the staff on the ground ensuring that a user and service centered design system was created.


Dr. Hargobind Khurana, senior medical director of Health Management, Banner commented on the success of the pilot: “The results of our at-home telehealth pilot with Philips were dramatic and indicative of the exponential success such a program could have by engaging patients in their own care and building a strong support system around them.”


Connected hospital to home solutions such as ‘telehealth’ are opening up choices for patients and providers. Sean Hughes explains: “With $3.27 trillion to be spent on healthcare in the US alone in 2015*, there is a compelling economic drive to reinvent the industry. Patient owned data, innovative care practice, connectivity is enabling rapid change and forcing innovation into the system and we’re committed to shaping the future; a future which is about preventing and predicting health problems rather than just treating people when they get sick.”

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