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Philips sees a medical future based on advances in data integration

Jul 10. 2019
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As a leader in the Asia Pacific region, Thailand has enjoyed strong growth potential in the medical market and faces many challenges ahead, said Dr Felix Baader, the business leader for monitoring and analytics at Philips.

“For the growth potential in its medical industry, there are couples of things I see in Thailand,” said Baader in an exclusive interview with The Nation. “First, as one of the Asia Pacific leaders we can experience great growth, in the double-digit area. And for the driving factor, we believe that Thailand can make more progress in growing along the journey of Thailand 4.0.

“We see an excellent educational level in healthcare in Thailand, which is a major driver especially in medical schools,” he said.

“More consequently, medical tourism is obviously a very great thing to further expand. I’m very positively surprised, and see this as a potential opportunity in the Thai market for Philips.” 

However, Baader said, the healthcare challenges will increase as Thailand becomes an ageing society. Healthy ageing also requires a sustained commitment and action from hospitals. Seamless connected data will be the key benefit for ageing people as the information is transformed and integrated into meaningful and connected healthcare.

“At the global and regional level, we see an increase in population and a lot of patient data. So, we see two important things. One is integrated solutions in which all messy data is integrated to become meaningful information for healthcare professionals. This leads to more effective outcomes in patient care. The second is value-based innovations that should not play in the price war. At Philips, we offer meaningful innovation, which enhance clinical outcomes, make life better and benefit patients’ health. These two factors will be able to overcome any challenges that we are facing today,” said Baader.

Regarding Thailand’s potential as a medical hub of the region, Baader emphasises the quality of services, including the doctors and nurses, as well as the importance of technology. 

Thailand can compete on cost and quality of services, said Viroj Vithayaveroj, the chairman and managing director of Philips (Thailand) Ltd, in the same interview.

“The cost of medical services in Thailand remains competitive compared to other countries in this region, while we still offer the global standard to make sure that patients get the top services they expect,” said Viroj. 

"In Thailand, the challenges today are about, first, the purchasing budget from public sector has a benchmark on price set up based on the cheapest one. Sometimes, we don’t offer the cheapest cost, but we offer the most suitable and effective solution fitting the hospital’s need. Second, the minimal budget in the public sector, especially in small to mid-sized hospitals, limits hospitals’ purchasing power for quality products." 

Since joining Philips in 2016, Baader has been integral to the growth of their monitoring and analytics business. He kick-started his career at Philips in the position of senior vice president and business leader of patient monitoring, initially overseeing responsibility for operational sites across the DE region and the US. Baader was then appointed to focus on the systems and solutions business to specifically address the issues facing Intensive Care Units (ICU). Delivering a succession of innovations in patient safety and alarm fatigue, he helped transform the way in which ICUs operated. During his time in this role, the business witnessed double-digit growth. Two years later Baader moved into his current role where he has full responsibility for the monitoring and analytics business on a global level.

Baader has a strong track record in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Philips, he was the vice president of technology at Biotronik Vascular Intervention, where he was responsible for development, manufacturing, supply chain and procurement. He has also held previous roles as the head of product development at Disetronic Medical Systems and the head of technology for Roche Diagnostics. He is passionate about applying the “LEAN” model – not only in his leadership style, but also in business operations. He is a regular speaker at global healthcare industry events.

Asked for the key strategies of Philips to lead the medical market in Thailand and other potential markets in Asean, Baader said the company will focus on two key areas. 

First is the four dimensions of business overview. The first dimension is to provide more integrated solutions which can lead to connected care. Philips is turning data into a meaningful dimension, he said. The second is improving the clinical outcome, while the third is patient experience and the fourth is staff satisfaction.

“This will be our key strategy to lead the medical market in Thailand,” he said.

For Asian market, Philips looks to providing excellent service, as well as increasingly integrated technology by bringing more adaptive intelligence into the medical system, which in turn can lead to connected healthcare.

For example, said Baader, their “IntelliVue Guardian Solution” with early-warning scoring is a customisable patient monitoring system that combines software, clinical decision support algorithms and mobile connectivity to help doctors identify the right patient at the right time for early, effective intervention.

“Our seamless patient monitoring systems offer more than comprehensive and reliable data. They are designed to provide a bedrock of accuracy, precision and confidence that supports clinical decision-making at every level and in multiple environments,” he said.

“Networked and contactless solutions equip caregivers to track and manage patients’ needs, from the point of care to another unit, floor, or wing of a facility, and beyond. Infrastructural advances in compatibility facilitate the smooth and effective operation of Philips systems with existing enterprise, online and radio systems. And we work collaboratively with hospitals to tailor the customer services to the patient care journey,” said Baader.

Monitoring and analytics are quite significant to the medical industry and local hospitals in Thailand, he added.

“We improve patient care with Philips patient monitoring, which is designed to also help drive clinical performance and lower costs for both the patient side and the hospital side. From algorithms designed to support category-leading precision, to configurable screens and multi-parameter alarming, the Philips patient monitoring portfolio equips physicians, nurses, clinicians and care teams with trustworthy, near real-time data,” he said.

“As you can see, we’re now focusing on data driven that is driven by the aim of providing connected care solutions. We’re offering the most advanced solution to the market,” added Baader.

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