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Harnessing the Power of Technology to Touch and Save Lives Each Day

Lawrence Chia

Name: Ravi Ramaswamy

Position:  Senior Director, Health Systems

Location: Philips Innovation Campus, Bangalore

More Than a Job

For most people, work is a daily grind, a means to an end, a series of chores executed in return for wages.

Not for me. I have been fortunate to be able to make an impact across diverse regions with my work, and use the power of technology to not just touch but save lives.

My name is Ravi, and I’ve been with Philips for over 7 years. I lead the Health Systems team here at the Philips Innovation Campus (PIC), Bangalore.

As a Senior Director, I have my hands full with running the centre, working with the Business Units to deliver on product commitments, and working very closely with the markets and customers in order to co-create and build products / solutions to address their needs.

In the larger scheme of things, I try to build solutions across the multiple Business Units (BU) that exist here at the Innovation Campus.

While I relish the impact I can make across markets as diverse as the US, India, Myanmar, and Middle East, what I find most rewarding about my job is helping others and contributing to the Philips ambition of “touching 3 billion lives by 2025”.

Saving Lives with Technology 

A huge challenge for the healthcare authorities in Indonesia is the high mortality rate among pregnant women, particularly in Padang, a remote area with limited access to clinics and high quality healthcare services.

This region has one of the highest rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in the country, as mothers-to-be are have difficulty accessing the healthcare and support critical to their wellbeing.

And this is where Philips comes into the picture. We worked with the Indonesian Reproductive Science Institution under PT Bundamedik, the city government of Padang and the Ministry of Health, to launch a pilot project for deploying MOM (Mobile Obstetrical Monitoring).

Midwives visited pregnant women in their homes to measure their vital parameters as also the fetal well being. The results were fed into the MOM app on mobile phones, a piece of technology around 96% of the world’s population has access to, so that obstetricians and gynaecologists based in hospitals or clinics could monitor the mothers remotely and identity those at high risk as early as possible and bring in interventions as needed.

We brought the solution to the root of the problem, and working closely with local healthcare authorities, monitored the mother to be from conception all the way to delivery. We managed to reduce the maternal mortality rate to zero, and push up the number of mothers identified with anaemia to 70% from 5%. We were able to link the mothers to the appropriate level of care, and ultimately ensured that there were no deaths in the region for the 900 mothers that we monitored.

For me, this was life-changing - that’s the power of technology to enable and help people in far-flung areas.


The Philips Mission

The MOM project perfectly encapsulates what we do each day at Philips. Our mission is very clear: How we are going to impact and make a difference to peoples’ lives.

I always put myself in the shoes of the patient and their loved ones – what kind of equipment would I design, in order to best support the patient and aid in the job of the healthcare professionals?

I think it’s all about coming up with the right solution to enable differentiation of care at its very best. One thing that we stand for is absolute quality.

Working with a team of close to 3,000 engineers, software developers, product managers and doctors, with access to the latest technologies and an intricate understanding of customer needs, we always deliver top notch results.

The lines between job functions are blurred as everyone strives to give their best. While developing a remote ICU management product here in India, almost 50 per cent of my engineering staff spent 50 per cent of their time with doctors in co-creating the solution. They went beyond the technical aspects of the engineering job to understand customer needs and craft appropriate solutions.

Overall I think we give as much to our employees as we expect of them, as we want our people to be in the best possible position to touch and save lives. 


It’s Not a Job, it’s Family

Once you join Philips, you’re going to be part of a family. Our mission in ensuring quality of life for people is very clear, and this guides our work ethic when coming up with designs and product solutions.

When someone chooses to join Philips, he or she also chooses a way of life. They are in it for the long haul, embarking on a journey of learning and giving back to society.

There is much to learn on the professional and leadership fronts, and it is going to be a fun ride in terms of understanding and exploring their own skills and contributing actively towards the organization, and of course to the larger community as well.

A career with Philips is going to be a fantastic learning experience. Opportunities abound. It’s more like attaching yourself to a family than to a company.