‘Health care will be with you wherever you go’
AMSTERDAM – Philips and American Well announced a partnership this month to integrate telehealth services into Philips home health devices. Jeroen Tas, chief innovation and strategy officer at Philips, explained why this kind of integration will be a game-changer for the homecare industry.
HHTN: How will the integration of telehealth into care devices impact the delivery of home care?
TAS: Telehealth integration into home health devices can make the best use of professional resources in times where these resources are scarce and health systems are dealing with cost pressures. At Philips, we believe that robust digital health solutions help people make the right choices and do the right things to protect and improve their health. To this end, we are building digital health solutions that take an integrated approach offering users a combination of devices, apps and services, while analytics are running in the back-end that provide them with actionable health data. A key aspect is linking them to professional care providers at the right time, at the right place.
HHTN: What’s in it for the consumer/patient?
TAS: Virtual care technologies can help make care more seamless and continuous and give consumers better insights into their health and greater control over it. Professional expertise and advice available on-demand can improve access to care where resources are scarce, as well as increase a patient’s engagement and adherence to therapy. Easy remote access to health care professionals can significantly shorten appointment setup time and offer the convenience of not having to invest time in visiting the doctor’s office by spreading the capacity of professionals across the network, independent of location. At the same time, it can enable health systems to engage with their patient populations in a continuous way, improving their health outcomes.
HHTN: Are there other opportunities for telehealth integration?
TAS: Philips delivers a broad range of solutions in both consumer health and professional care, which may benefit from the addition of integrated access to telehealth services. We just announced that our uGrow digital parenting platform will have American Well telehealth services integrated in it, and other examples exist in sleep and respiratory care, where telehealth can provide access to sleep specialists and respiratory therapists to support the process of diagnosis, testing, prescription and supporting sleep products. Population health management is another opportunity, where the integration of live services by providers such as physicians, coaches, care coordinators and nutrition consultants can optimize health outcomes for identified cohorts of patients, for instance post-discharge or patients with co-morbidities. The possibilities are endless.
HHTN: How do you see home care evolving in the next five or 10 years?
TAS: At Philips, we’ll continue our programs to enable health care delivery transformation with innovative propositions that make care more integrated, continuous and seamless. With new digital technologies such as IoT, sensors, cloud computing and artificial intelligence quickly emerging and maturing, consumers and patients have more possibilities to take a proactive role in their health management. We see the emergence of integrated delivery networks, in which care is expanded beyond the hospital to lower cost settings, becoming an integral part of the health care delivery process, such as the home and retail settings. In the future, health care will be with you wherever you go, available at any time.