Interview

Our focus is to address the requirements of our customers first

Innovations in the Image-Guided Therapy segment is one of its key focus areas in India. Nitin Stephen Abel, Business Leader, Image-Guided Therapy, Philips Indian Subcontinent, talks about the company’s innovations in this space, and how it has aligned with the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ drive

Can you tell us what the Philips Image Guided Therapy business is all about?
Philips develops solutions to help its customers decide, guide, treat and then confirm the right care, for every patient, in real-time. Our focus is to address the requirements of our customers first, keeping the patients at the centre of everything we do, in line with our objective to achieve, what we call the ‘Quadruple-Aim’ i.e. to have better clinical outcomes, improved patient experience, improved staff experience and lowering the cost of care. We combine meaningful innovation with evidence-based technologies to simplify workflows while enhancing patient care and reducing the overall cost.

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Patients with coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease or lead extraction indications benefit from our integrated solutions that enhance the art of minimally invasive procedures. Our product portfolio consists of
interventional imaging systems (cath- labs and mobile c-arms), smart devices, software and services. We have a full range of products that the customers can opt for depending on their clinical needs. We constantly innovate and strive to expand therapeutic indications in cardio, neuro, spine, ortho, onco etc. with the focus to drive care with better clinical outcomes and high productivity.

Can you outline Philips’ innovations in the Image-Guided Therapy space?
In the Image-Guided Therapy arena, we constantly push ourselves to innovate minimally invasive procedures in a growing number of therapeutic segments, with significantly better clinical outcomes and high productivity. We further plan to expand our portfolio through the acquisition of many more similar companies that suit our strategic fit, like the recent one being Vesper Medical for the treatment of deep venous disease. With such synergies, we provide clinicians with a complete procedural solution for the treatment of myriad complex diseases. Furthermore, we are expanding in newer therapy areas such as neuro, spine, ortho and oncology and continuously innovating to bring in solutions such as the first spectral detector angio-CT solution that combines breakthrough spectral detector CT-imaging and real-time fluoroscopy in a flexible environment where all modalities are operated through Philips Image-Guided Therapy System – Azurion with FlexArm. T

If you could give us a sense of the significance of 1000+ active Cath lab installations. How have the Cath labs have benefited patients and healthcare institutions in India?
India suffers from a huge cardiovascular disease (CVDs) burden with one in four deaths because of CVDs including ischemic heart diseases. Unfortunately, today in India we are limited with just about 2000 active Cath-labs in ~150 cities. We acknowledge this huge unmet clinical need and hence have aggressive plans to customise local requirements and double the number of active Cath labs in the next few years – with the focus on improving accessibility and affordability particularly in the qualityof cardiac and neurovascular care, in tier II and tier III markets. We believe this is just the beginning of a long journey and we will continue to break newer grounds through meaningful innovations and solutions for our Indian customers to help them improve millions of patient lives in the remotest locations of our country.

Are the products a part of ‘Make in India’?
Over the past decade, we have transformed ourselves into being a leader in the health technology space, and especially in the field of interventional cardiology. Our Pune Healthcare Innovation Center (HIC) plays a pivotal role in enabling Healthcare innovation for Philips across the globe. It has the unique advantage of housing all functions of the Healthtech imaging business including innovation, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, customer services, procurement, quality and regulatory providing vital solutions worldwide.

We currently have six products, including the mobile C-arm that have been designed, developed, and manufactured here and 1000+ systems have been exported globally to 100 countries including the US and Europe. Traditionally, Philips has been present in the premium and performance segments but with the Pune innovation centre, the focus is also to address the growing need of the ‘fit-for-purpose’ segment as well. In the IGT-cluster, apart from C-Arms – we are now working towards localisation of interventional suites to increase affordability and accessibility particularly in tier II and tier III markets.

How have customers and technicians adapted to Philips Image Guided Therapy products and services?
We are glad that over the last several decades our customers have resonated very passionately with our products and services and they have also graciously accorded their views with us and others. Our customers’ trust in the Philips brand encourages us to continuously innovate and strive hard each day to earn their espect, by delivering the best solutions to help them improve millions of patient lives.

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