Help innovate the digital future

The global head of digital and social marketing at Philips, Blake Cahill, discusses the digital future at Philips. Expect expansion into new technologies, impactful projects and space for innovation – with the goal of creating a healthier, happier society.


Gamification to drive engagement


“This is not the first time we’re hearing about gamification,” begins Blake, “but today we’ve reached a whole new level of engagement.” For some time now, Philips has been well aware of the benefits of gamification as the future of consumer interaction. It was this insight that led to the development of a very unique proposition developed by the oral health team.


“We wanted to help parents teach their children good brushing behavior,” Blake explains. “And, if you have kids, you know it’s not always easy to get them to brush.” Blake’s referring to the innovative Sonicare Kids toothbrush developed in tandem with Sparkly the digital helper.


“We connected a rechargeable toothbrush enabled with Bluetooth wireless technology to an app and we essentially “gamified” toothbrushing,” he says. In short, the free interactive brushing app made brushing fun. “And it worked! 98 % of parents say it’s easier to get kids to brush longer and better.” Philips plans to use gamification increasingly to trigger active learning about health. 


Cloud-based platforms purpose-built from data to improve lives

Data is essential. To be a leading company today you have to be more than just a tech company.

Blake highlights that combining data together with the right tech, software, service, commerce and more has to be front and center for any digital organization.


“The Health Suite Digital Platform (HSDP) is a cloud-based platform purpose-built for healthcare,” he says, explaining how it collects and analyzes data in the health space to help improve people’s lives – for example, in chronic condition management. “HSDP has a tailored set of tools and resources optimized for healthcare innovation and the co-creation of health and wellness applications,” he adds. 


Philips is already connecting many products with HSDP. The latest developments were unveiled this January at CES (Consumer Electronics Show). There, Philips partnered up with Mercedes Benz to show how to “make roads a little safer,” as Blake puts it. Philips health watch would detect health changes as you are driving and feed them to your car, so if there are any sudden changes, accidents could be prevented. “You can imagine the kind of opportunities that lie ahead with this kind of thinking,” he says.


Chatbots to support online interaction


“It’s important as an international brand to be where people are interacting.” Blake predicts that Chatbots and AIs will automate simple, mundane service and enquiry tasks that customers typically have when interacting with Philips.


Blake explains that projects are already underway at Philips - for example, scaling up WhatsApp customer support in a number of markets. Amazon’s bot Alexa has also been integrated with the U-Grow platform - a digital parenting platform that tracks, monitors and captures every milestone in a child’s development. 

We are only at the beginning here of the bot and AI revolution. There are exciting times to come!

Digitization is key to scaling healthcare solutions
We have a north star. By 2020, we want to positively impact the lives of three billion people a year.

“Today, we impact about 1.9 billion people a year, and as you are reading this, it’s probably increasing,” says Blake proudly. “Whether it’s with solutions, services or products, we will make sure we impact three billion people by year 2020,” he confidently says. This is the kind of working environment and culture that Philips actively fosters – where being impactful and making a real tangible difference is the number one priority for all teams.
We are constantly inspired and driven by this desire to make a difference - to be a part of Philips, it’s a prerequisite to care.

The future of digital at Philips, says Blake, is about building a world where people can lead more productive and healthy lives. Innovation is how Philips is going to reach that goal.

Pioneer the digital future with Philips. Check out available opportunities now.


Innovation Matters delivers news, opinions and features about healthcare, and is focused on the professionals who work within the industry, as well as Philips as a cutting-edge health technology organization. From interviews with industry giants to how-to guides and features powered by Philips data, our goal is to deliver interesting, educational and entertaining content to empower and inspire all those who work in healthcare or related industries.