Philips Digital Healthcare Conclave 2016 by Sagay Mary, @hisagay

 The future of healthcare is here and it is up to all players in the sector to leverage emerging technologies to improve the quality and reach of care

What if you could consult your doctor from the comfort of your own home? Could a Star Trek like future with sensors assisting doctors to diagnose disease come true? According to the industry leaders gathered at the Philips Digital Healthcare Conclave 2016, the day is not far when both these scenarios and more, will be the reality of healthcare. 

Digital disruption has had reaching effects on the healthcare technology space. The second edition of the Philips Digital Healthcare Conclave focused on the possibilities, the benefits, the risks and the tremendous potential offered by integrating and leveraging emerging technologies to revolutionize healthcare and offer better care for patients. The event brought together an impressive mix of thought leaders from hospitals, OEM manufacturers, doctors and government officials to elaborate on the ways their sector is implementing digital technology and their predictions for the future.

Accessibility, affordability, acceptance and security were the four most prominent themes that dominated the day’s discussion. All the speakers and most of the audience shared common views on the potential of digital technologies in enhancing the accessibility of quality healthcare, democratizing the care process, and the need for developing affordable solutions. 

On the topic of security, however, the gathering remained sharply divided, with the doctors emphasizing the seriousness of the threat to patient information and their right to privacy, and the policy makers and industry leaders choosing to prioritize accessibility over an exaggerated scrutiny of security. The highlight of the day was the session by Shri Rajendra Pratap, advisor to the Union Minister for Health, on the various welfare schemes launched by the Government of India using digital technologies.  

The conclave also looked at the other side of the innovation and digital disruption coin – start-ups. There is no denying that these nimble, creative, entrepreneurial establishments have turned the world of business on its head with their out of the box solutions. As a leading innovator in the healthcare technology space, Philips believes in mentoring and encouraging the start-up economy. 

This year’s conclave instituted the first ever Philips Start Up Cup. Eight promising start ups pitched their ideas and plans to a panel of industry leaders. The array of brilliant solutions ranged from AI powered physician assistant, analytics platforms, to wearable heart beat monitors and devices for analyzing pathology samples and radiology reports quickly and efficiently. 

Predible Health won the Philips Start Up Cup, INR 2 lakhs as prize money, and the enviable opportunity of being mentored by Philips Innovation Campus for their projects.

The future of healthcare is here and it is up to all players in the sector to leverage emerging technologies to improve the quality and reach of care.

The article was first published on the Authors’ LinkedIn Pulse page. It has been reproduced here with the authors’ permission.
Sagay Mary

Manager, Corporate Communications at Philips, Bangalore responsible for branding and communications

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