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Improving peoples’ lives through innovative design

For Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer at Philips, the right design plays an important role in Philips’ branding and positioning. He wants to involve the company’s professional healthcare customers, as well as consumers, when developing new products and solutions, in a process he calls “CoCreation”. Philips’ own take on “design thinking”, CoCreation takes a design-led approach to solve problems and to create a better outcome for the future.

A great example is Philips Lumify. The portable ultrasound scanner projects ultrasound images onto the Lumify app on a mobile device. “It’s putting medical imaging capabilities into the hands of primary healthcare operators,” said Carney. Philips ran initial trials of this system combined with its obstetrics software to create a program called ‘MOMs’ (Mobile Obstetrics Monitoring).

Lumify can extend the scope of where ultrasound can be used, as it’s more affordable and portable than a typical ultrasound machine used in a hospital. This is particularly important in rural areas where hospitals are few. “We gave community midwives in Indonesia the system and monitored more than a thousand women and their unborn children throughout their pregnancies,” he said. “This allowed these expectant mothers to be carefully monitored in their homes or local communities and enabled the midwives to spot potential problems earlier,” he explained.

Carney is a keynote speaker at TechInnovation 2017. Held on 19 to 20 September at Marina Bay Sands and now in its sixth year, the event is organised by IPI Singapore and is now a leading conference and exhibition in Singapore that focuses on the matching of industry’s needs to enabling technologies.

“We believe that, to transform the delivery of health and build a sustainable business in this challenging context, we need a different, more human-centred approach to innovation,” said Carney.

Philips has successfully collaborated with various associations to impact lives for the better.

For instance, it is partnering the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (SAM), a collaboration with Varian Medical Systems and IBA Worldwide, to build the new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre based at Biopolis, the international biomedical research hub in Singapore.

The oncology centre will provide world-class imaging, treatment delivery and clinical informatics technologies with the intent to comprehensively address the region’s fast-growing number of people confronted with cancer. The new research, training and treatment center will provide the latest in oncology solutions for use by healthcare professionals and researchers.

Another example of Philips’ patient-focused approach is the In-Bore Ambient Experience, where a solution was designed to help patients relax and hold still during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination. Engaging visuals are displayed on the back wall of the bore of the MRI scanner and can be seen via a mirror on the head coil, while patients can listen to music or sound through headphones.

“This solution is having a positive impact at Herlev Hospital in Denmark, where Ambient Experience is driving significant improvements to their patient care environment,” said Carney.

“We’ve built Philips Design’s reputation by demonstrating that meaningful design in rooted in empathy for people, and in a deep understanding of cultures and societies. By remaining true to these core beliefs we have enabled people throughout the world to benefit from breakthrough technology designed with them in mind – in ways they find enjoyable, enriching and easy to experience,” he added.

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