The world is changing and we are changing. As you know, we believe that to improve people’s health and to lower cost of healthcare, we need to connect all the stages of the health continuum: healthy living, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment all the way to home care. We have a unique growth position both in homes and hospitals to actively lead that change to improve the lives of billions of people. This is really why we’ve chosen to be a focused health technology company.
One example of this would be our proposition for Philips uGrow, which is a parenting app, supporting babies’ development and giving mothers and families access to key baby metrics. But this is not only for the family, but also for doctors. And all this information can be accessed anytime, anywhere. This is one of the solutions that could connect people with care providers as well as with family members.
The other example from the Philips health systems side is our Azurion image guided therapy solutions, which really enables physicians to perform the most advanced and minimally invasive treatments, especially for cardiovascular procedures, offering real time access to all patient data at their fingertips without the need to waste any time looking for it. This is another example of how we can connect in real time during the operation with all the diagnostic and other patient data to enable the best performance.
How do you plan to engage internally and externally to make change happen in the world? How do you reach people?
We have a very inspiring mission: to improve 3 billion lives with meaningful innovation. We express that through our communication platform, ‘there is always a way to make life better’, which you may have seen with our Breathless Choir and Everyday Hero films last year.
Externally, the social response was overwhelmingly positive, and people understood our message of trying to make the world a healthier and more sustainable place.
This platform helps us achieve two things. So first, we want to create more consistency with the brand across all our communication. And second, it also creates stronger emotional engagement with both consumers and customers, and also inspires our own people, our employees, with our mission. This is also one of the major reasons why we’re making the messaging tangible with storytelling. This is how the brand plays a role in everyday life.
How important do you consider disruptive technology? What are you doing to break through and make change happen for the customer?
This is a big moment both for proposition development and for activation, so one of the best examples would be Philips Sonicare for kids, which is a connected toothbrush which helps kids to learn how to clean their teeth in a fun way. This solution takes a potentially stressful situation for kids and parents, and makes it fun. Without digital technology, we wouldn’t be able to create such a solution. The other example is from the IntelliVue Guardian System, a patient monitoring solution, which predicts acute moments, like heart attacks, hours before they happen and therefore saves people’s lives. Again, digital analytics and artificial intelligence are helping to develop such a solution.
On the activation side, digital technology helps to personalize messages and communication for better engagement. I think the best example is the OneBlade proposition, which is a razor that offers shaving and trimming in one. This is a perfect tool for younger guys, but not for those who prefer more traditional shaving. And this is where social media and real-time campaign optimization allow us to target those young men, but avoid a more traditional audience who wouldn’t be as interested.
Looking at what the Philips brand has been doing in the last year and how it’s developing, what did you do to develop and strengthen the brand to drive growth?
The brand plays an essential role in how we focus on being a health technology company. We are addressing the need for change and transforming healthcare itself. Through research such as the Future Health Index, we’re able to better understand the views of patients and healthcare professionals in terms of appropriate access to healthcare, digital innovation across the health continuum, and the adoption of connected technologies. We are shifting our company from being product-oriented to solution-oriented, with a very clear benefit for our healthcare customers. Because we can connect all the dots and data points and therefore help providers reach better patient outcomes at a lower cost.
It’s essential to transform our relationships with our customers in the longer term by partnering with them so we can develop better solutions. For example the Azurion innovation I talked about earlier was developed in mutual partnership with our customers, so it wouldn’t be possible to have the best solution for clinicians without actually working with them.
I think if you have your purpose in perfect sync with your communication, it makes everything easier to comprehend. It is also emotionally engaging, which is difficult for a product to do on its own. This is where we realized that we can do something bigger and create an emotionally engaged brand and drive that change in our organization.
What are the next challenges you can already foresee or the next bigger things on your journey? What do you think will you face in the next couple of years?
From one side, an aging population with more chronic illnesses is going to put more pressure on the cost of healthcare. But then on the other side, when you look at us, people, we are much more engaged with our health, and digital technology enables so much more than previously was possible, for example, connecting us to healthcare providers with our own personal health records and personalized care plans. This is something that is really exciting and will continue to be a transformation and a challenge. It’s not something that is happening within a year, I think it’s a journey, both from the brand and technology perspective, and it can have an incredibly positive impact on the world.
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