Bangalore, April 3 IANS | 7 months ago

The India arm of the USD 32 billion healthcare and well-being giant Royal Philips Thursday unveiled six innovations in areas ranging from miniature ultrasound system and remote critical care to air purification and lighting that have all been developed within the country for global markets.


The Netherlands-based company said each of these innovative products has been developed keeping in mind the needs of developing countries like India and those in Africa that face huge challenges of healthcare access, especially in the hinterland and remote locations.

"All these innovations are part of our global mission to improve the lives of three billion people by 2025. In that, the India facility and other growth geographies are important not just as markets but as centres of innovation," said Jim Andrew, Royal Philips executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer.

"We also believe that to be meaningful, innovation must be locally relevant. That requires innovating close to or directly alongside customers, wherever they are in the world," he said at the Philips Innovation Centre here, adding that's what has been done in developing the products.

Among the innovations unveiled was an ultrasound machine the size of an electric razor to address the challenges of portability and access, which for around Rs.1 million promises to deliver speed and quality that a comparable machine will struggle to despite a price tag of Rs.2.5 million and the bulk.

"This machine marks a new vision for us - it allows clinicians to take ultrasound where it has never been possible before, notably for pre-natal care for expectant mothers. It's also simple to operate and does away with the need to send patients to scan rooms," said Philips India vice chairman Krishna Kumar Ananthasubramanian.

Next was an electro-cardiogram machine, also miniaturized and the size of a smart phone, with added advantage of being able to send scanned data over a smart phone so that doctors can remotely tend to their patients before hospitalisation.

This product, Philips executives and research team members said, is particularly relevant in India that has some 50 million cardio-vascular cases reported every year, of which some 10 million don't make it because the care given is delayed.

The company also unveiled its mobile obstetrical monitoring system as a mobile phone application in which high-risk pregnancies can be addressed by physical collection of data at healthcare centres, or even homes, which can be transmitted to doctors to prescribe the next steps that are to be taken.

Similar innovation showcased Thursday a tele-health solution to enable remote intensive care for patients in areas where specialist advise is not always available. This twin-product, the size of two smart phones, has already been tested in 13 regional hospitals in India.

Philips also entered a new market category for itself in India by launching air purification systems priced at between Rs.16,000 and Rs.35,000 for homes and smaller living spaces, and said this was also relevant for India, since it has cities that rank among the most polluted in the world.

Quoting World Health Organisation studies, the Philips team said homes and covered spaces were 30 times more polluted than outside and indoor air pollution cause more than two million deaths annually worldwide, of which nearly 28 percent are children under the age of 5.

The unveiling was of a solar-based sustainable energy solution for lighting (using LED, or light emitting diode) to particularly help government agencies deliver affordable, inexhaustible and clean lighting solutions.

(Posted on 03-04-2014)

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