Embracing technology to create solutions

Name: Eric Ho

Role: Clinical Transformation Lead

 

Embracing technology to create solutions

 

I joined Philips in October 2016, switching from a long career in the public sector. I am a trained physiotherapist and had been working in a government hospital for a decade. My current role in Philips is to work with healthcare providers on the Telehealth programme and to ease the implementation of the technology into existing workflow and processes.

Technology is the game-changer

 

So why did I make the change to the private sector?

 

I spent 16 years in public healthcare and during this time I found that there were challenges, such as the lack of manpower and fragmentation in healthcare services, that could be addressed through technology. I strongly believe that healthcare technology is the new frontier  -  it is game-changing and I wanted to get involved.

 

Telehealth – bridging the gaps with technology

 

Philips' technology helps connect every touchpoint along the patient's journey. The current nature of our healthcare sector is such that the technology specifically serves individual sections (e.g just for ICU, just for the ward, just for rehabilitation, just for home). All these systems and databases are not connected, so information does not flow and clinicians do not get the full story.

 

Philips offers an end-to-end solutions that connects patients, clinicians and caregivers. That's something truly innovative.

 

The Telehealth programme in particular helps patients with chronic diseases such as those recovering from heart disease and are recuperating at home. They still need to be monitored by their physicians, but having them constantly travel to and from the clinic disrupts their normal daily lives, and is especially troublesome if they are the breadwinners of their families. With Telehealth, they can go through their day as per usual, but are able to monitor themselves and send real-time data to their physicians, who can then dispense advice and intervene if necessary.

 

It's exciting to see how big an impact this technology has on patients’ lives, and the amount of support they receive remotely. I am personally appreciative of how Philips can use the expertise of their employees and apply these to every step of the patient’s journey.

 

Working together to innovate

 

Another project my team and I have been working on is a mobile health monitor. It stemmed from trying to address a particular consumer's problem: monitoring the health of the community at a population level. We realised that the existing products were all either too expensive or too bulky, and decided to develop something with a more portable design, that was more cost effective and which had a better performance.

 

The design of this unit won the Singapore Good Design award 2017 and we're looking into pushing it out into the commercial market soon.

 

It was a combined effort between us and our design and software development teams, and is a great example of how collaborative the Philips work culture is. At the end of the day we all have common goals – to support our healthcare providers and their patients. I work regularly with my colleagues from the design and development teams and we constantly bounce ideas off each other. In fact, one of the best things about my current role is that I get to work across functions, from business development, to operations, and I get an in-depth look at the entire business. With that, I also get to work with colleagues and stakeholders from across varied functions and cultures, and it has been a lot of fun and very enriching.

 

I hope to be able to build my network further and work on more cross-functional projects.

 

Unleashing the inner geek

 

Where I am now, I really get to go in-depth into the technical specifications of our products. It truly is fascinating to get a first-hand look at the thinking and conception of the design and architecture of Philips' innovations. You see ideas come to life and go on to have an impact on actual patients' lives. I've always been interested in technology, and been a strong advocate for technology in the healthcare sector. This job really brings out my inner geek!

 

Philips values improvement and exposure

 

The great thing about working in Philips is that you get both depth and breath. You get to dabble in different things, and not just scratch the surface of it. At the same time, you are backed up by a supportive management that embraces diversity and values personal development. I'm currently trying to learn coding so that I can better appreciate and understand what our developers do, and I am sure if I ever need the support from Philips, it will always be given. I was very happy to make the move and to anyone who is thinking about making such a change, I would say: just take the plunge.