04 April 2013

Philips Healthcare Innovations–Made for India, by Indians

Philips Innovation Campus (PIC), a Division of Philips Electronics India yesterday showcased it’s made for India, by the Indians, revolutionary Healthcare solutions. These solutions targeted mainly at bridging the healthcare gap between Tier 2 or 3 cities and Tier 1 Cities aims to work at bringing the patients better healthcare facilities with better qualified medical personnel. Showcased among the many innovations were some of the firm’s new and existing equipment. Speaking at the event, the CEO, Philips Healthcare Innovations, Dr Wido Menhardt said that there is a major shift in the way things are working out of Bangalore now. He went on to further say that while in the past Bangalore was merely the executer of the work, today the roles have changed and people here are not only successfully executing but ideating and making decisions as well. The campus here in Bangalore has come up with some exciting innovations through its R&D and the same have been put down to working machines as well. These are running successfully at many of the hospitals in India. Among the showcased innovations, five held the primary interest.

Addressing a major area of concern about the lack of ICUs in the country where the existing infrastructure needs a scale up of at least 10 times what is already available, PIC innovated with a combination of hardware as well as a software solution known as eICU. eICU aims to provide the patients in the ICU facilities the care of an Intensivist by the means of Video Conference as well as remote monitoring. Based on a Hospital to Hospital tie up model, the eICU provides the Intensivist the capability to interact with the patients on a one on one mode through the video conferencing method. The entire setup is divided into the hardware at the Intensivist’s place as well as a cart designed with the norms required to be met for ICU equipment. The cart consists of a remotely as well as an onsite adjustable mounted HD camera as well as a laptop. At the head of every patient is a screen containing a chart of the latest readings, instructions as well as other details. We were told that in order to minimise the cost, the cart was expected to be present in a ratio of 1:3 i.e. one cart per three patients in the ICU. The system requires an existing broadband architecture in place, however as a fall back mechanism, the same would work on a modest 3G network as well.

Addressing another area of increasing the success rates in the cardio vascular operations in India and the world, PIC’s next innovation, a software product known as the Heart Navigator system aims at providing doctors and analysts alike a system of measuring, simulating as well as using in real time for all heart related operations and ailments. PIC has associated itself with major manufacturers of valves and vents and has incorporated their wireframe design in the product. This allows the doctor to view in 3D model the placement, the fit as well as the final look of the system when placed into operation.

PIC also showcased its Tumour Tracking application which integrates with the image repositories containing the previous as well as recent images from a CT/CAT scans. It allows the physicians to identify and track the response of a tumour to medicine. Based on a standardized algorithm, the system allows the physician to plain mark the location of the tumour on one image. The rest of the images are automatically fetched matched and the related calculations are performed. The system shows the output in customizable tabular as well as graphical format allowing much better understanding of the progress.

PIC has constantly been trying to innovate on the amount of X-ray exposure that a person receives from undergoing CT Scans from the current levels to something that is roughly a tenth of it. As a part of it’s this innovation, PIC has launched a set of new machines as well as a software solution known as iDose4 which performs iterative analysis and reconstructing on the images obtained from the scan thereby reducing the noise as well as reducing the X-ray dose that the person undergoing would receive. This is dictated up on by the rules of radiation which mandate it to be As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). This would mainly help expecting women as well as children who may be required to undergo the scans.

As a part of giving back to the community and a CSR initiative, Philips has associated itself with Udupi district’s Manipal Kasturba hospital. As a part of the initiative, PIC on a non-profit mode has gone ahead and implemented an app, Sanjivini, on the Android platform in order to reduce the paperwork required to be carried by the community workers who track everything right from birth to death to pre and post natal care of women in villages. The system works by reducing the rework as well as paperwork by updating and synchronizing familial data from a mobile device depending on the last mile connectivity available. This ranges from SMS, GPRS/3G usage to direct offline sync when the device is connected with the computer. This solution includes both a client side app installed on an Android device as well as a web application that resides at the server in the hospital.

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