Every year more than two thousand members of the Philips sales and service force in North America get together for a healthcare learning and listening experience we call “Mega Meeting”. It’s an opportunity to advance our role as a leader in health technology and recommit to our mission: to improve the lives of three billion people a year by 2025. Our job is to make health and healthcare a seamless part of every person’s life, helping them stay healthy from prevention to diagnosis, treating illness when it occurs and supporting a speedy recovery. This means embracing new technologies to maintain wellness and promote continuous health – from the hospital room to the living room.
This time around, one of our keynote speakers, Dr. David Nash, dean of Population Health Management at Thomas Jefferson University, reminded us that your zip code is the single most important predictor of lifespan in the U.S. Even in a developed country like ours, huge disparities exist in healthcare quality and access depending on whether you live in LA’s famous 90210 zip code or in a less notorious neighborhood nearby. It shouldn’t be that way. Even more startling, Dr. Nash shared, for the first time our children may not live as many years as their parents.
We have an opportunity to change this, but capturing that opportunity requires new ways of thinking and creative business models. That means developing different, more dynamic partnerships with providers, government organizations, innovators and even competitors, to transform healthcare delivery as we know it.
A New Healthcare Paradigm
We are in the midst of creating a new paradigm within our organization and with our customers to enable more seamless, predictive and collaborative care. Yesterday we worked in a largely transactional fee-for-service world. Today we are changing the paradigm to deliver health in a framework of shared accountability–co-creating integrated solutions and services that improve the patient experience and drive better outcomes. As the industry transitions to what’s called value-based care, in which providers are reimbursed based on the health of patients, it’s our job to help health systems deliver higher-quality care while helping them manage costs, complexity and risk.
For more than 100 years, Philips has helped deliver healthcare. And we still do. Every day, more than a million patients are connected with their health providers through our technology; every year, 275 million patients are monitored by Philips’ equipment; and we manage 3.5 million patient records from 400 health systems in one of the world’s largest intensive care unit (ICU) databases. But now more than ever, we help deliver health by changing the healthcare paradigm.
First, we’ve put a focus on population health management (PHM), which helps predict and define the health needs of specific populations to achieve value for consumers, patients and communities. PHM helps to aggregate and analyze patient data across multiple health information technology resources –consolidating that data into a single, actionable patient record – and then enabling insights which care providers can use to improve both clinical and financial outcomes. In a way, we are blurring the line between professional healthcare and personal health, using innovation to identify and integrate gaps in care, connect delivery silos, and create meaning from multiple data points.
That’s a key reason Philips acquired Wellcentive, the leader in population health management and value based care, serving 35 million patients and analyzing 1.5 billion data points a month. Connected cloud-based technology gives us new tools to redesign traditional care into a more collaborative and dynamic system that increases access, lowers costs, improves quality and empowers people to take charge of their own health.
Second, in this new healthcare paradigm, collaboration is crucial to producing the solutions the world needs to meet the demands of a growing and aging population. Partnerships between industry innovators like Philips and providers ranging from the smallest rural doctor’s office to million-patient health systems will be the change agents to build a healthier society in the future.
But for some leading providers, the future is already here. Philips recently added three more major strategic partnerships — Banner, Bon Secours Charity Health System, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital — that leverage our knowledge, expertise and innovation to focus on areas like Population Health Management, diagnostic imaging and connected care. Through these collaborations, health systems work with Philips to drive standardization, streamline workflow, and effectively deploy integrated solutions. With early and ongoing access to the latest innovations in healthcare technology and established best practices, we work as partners to optimize patient outcomes and operational effectiveness.
Another recent example comes from Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, where we teamed up to leverage their deep clinical insights together with a new industry-leading image guided therapy (IGT) system called Philips Azurion, The Azurion system offers tableside touchscreen control with a newly developed ConnectOS, seamlessly connecting and enabling control with other brands of relevant technologies in the Cath Lab. By harnessing vital procedural information from various sources, such as imaging systems, interventional devices, navigation tools and patient health records, Azurion provides interventional staff members with the control and data they need to perform procedures efficiently.
This collaborative model is the future, a future where providers and industry partners share expertise, innovation, and even risk. As more providers embrace this new solutions-based, cooperative paradigm we can break down the traditional boundaries that stifle innovation and collaboration.
That was among the future-changing messages our sales team took away from Mega Meeting this year. At Philips, we see these outstanding healthcare professionals as our “first responders” on the front lines of this new healthcare frontier, driving this new paradigm shift at the grassroots, where it matters most. Whether it’s our sales people on the ground, service engineers in the field, or innovators in the lab, we recognize that health is everyone’s business and a healthy society is in everyone’s best interest. And we’re confident that working with our healthcare partners, we can help make every zip code much healthier.
Brent Shafer is CEO of Philips North America. He will be speaking at the Techonomy Health conference in NYC on May 16.