Making innovation meaningful

The sustainable healthcare solutions that can transform society and all our futures. Like many seniors in our aging society who are susceptible to chronic diseases, Ralph McCurdy needs constant medical attention. The retiree from Phoenix, Arizona has early onset dementia and high blood pressure, which several years ago might have meant he had to move to an expensive assisted living facility or nursing home, taking him away from his home and his wife, to whom he's been married 64 years.

But thanks to an innovative, new care delivery model developed by Philips in collaboration with Arizona-based Banner Health, Ralph can stay at home.
Using a combination of connected products and patient engagement software on a tablet PC, a dedicated team of healthcare professionals constantly monitors Ralph's vital statistics, can provide psychological support and education to Ralph’s wife, and can be in touch to deal with emergencies around the clock.
As a result of aging societies and a corresponding rise in chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer, global healthcare providers are facing a crisis of escalating and out of control costs.

Sustainable solutions based on innovation can create a more resilient world."

 

Putting meaning into innovation, CNBC Innovation Cities, 2014

How to tackle these growing global health issues is just one of the challenges that innovative companies are trying to address today by investing in innovation that delivers real meaning to the customer. Often, alongside new products, this involves devising entirely new systems and services to improve people's lives and tackle the big societal challenges of our age.
For Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten, those global healthcare challenges are threefold. The first is that the global population is growing and urbanizing. By 2050, there will be nine billion of us, two thirds of whom will live in cities, rising to 80% in Europe.
 
The solution lies in making these cities smarter, safer and more sustainable than today's urban centers.
The second challenge is demographic. In developed economies, societies are aging rapidly as they live longer. Today about 900 million people worldwide are over 60 years of age. By 2050 that figure will have increased to some 2.4 billion.
The growth in population will herald the third challenge - a surge in demand for energy, healthy food and water. "Sustainable solutions based on innovation can create a more resilient world – but only if that innovation is focused on health and well-being of people," says van Houten.
To find life-changing solutions, global healthcare providers can no longer innovate alone. They need to work with the people they design for, to understand the deeply-held needs of customers. And they also need to find like-minded business partners to find the best solutions.
Thus, Philips has teamed up with many cities around the world to develop smart street lighting systems that make cities safer and more sustainable. One solution, called CityTouch, gives city management teams real-time control over every single light, meaning they can turn lights on and off when and where they're needed in just a couple of seconds.
Partnering up in India has led to new healthcare solutions there too. Philips has joined forces with the non-profit international organization RAD-AID and the Indian research institute PGIMER to create a mobile women's outreach program in rural India, providing breast cancer, cervical cancer and osteoporosis screening to thousands of women. Healthcare Services have been rolled out to other semi-urban and rural areas of the country.
Many of the healthcare solutions are powered by leaps forward in digital technology, which allow companies to create smart tools that are tailored to the individual user, handing power back to the customer and giving them more personal meaningful, experiences. In this way, innovation truly can transform communities, help governments to curb global health issues and enable citizens to lead healthier, more rewarding lives.

How many people in today’s global population of 7 billion are over 60?

900 million. This number is expected to reach 2.4 billion by 2050. Citation: Philips Aging Well Think Tank whitepaper report

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